Review Roundup: "One Man, Two Guvnors," "Nice Work If You Can Get It," "Evita," And "Harvey"
Brief reviews of four shows currently playing on Broadway:
"One Man, Two Guvnors": James Corden is gut-bustingly funny in this reworking of a commedia dell'arte play from the 1700s (now 1960s England). Corden plays a man who has two bosses ("guvnors," colloquially), and riffs on the already-funny script, eliciting tears of laughter from the audience. It's an empty kind of laughter ("why on earth is this so funny? It has no right to be!"), but it is incredibly amusing nonetheless.
"Nice Work If You Can Get It": A robotic Matthew Broderick is woefully miscast opposite the delightful Kelli O'Hara in this musical constructed around existing Gershwin tunes. The show, which is about rumrunning during the Prohibition, is bland (whose idea was it to give "Fascinatin' Rhythm" a distinctly un-fascinating rhythm?) and the dance numbers, while engaging at first, just seem to wear on after a while. A decent supporting cast and strong female lead sadly cannot save this clunker of a show.
"Evita": While Christina deCicco does the best she can with the difficult source material, "Evita" is a confounding mess of a show. DeCicco plays the legendary first lady of Argentina with aplomb, finding surprising clarity in moments like the lyrically murky "Buenos Aires." Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Ricky Martin's Che, who comes off as generally absent and tonally wrong for the part. Rob Ashford's choreography helps to liven up the show, and Christopher Oram's scenic design is quite beautiful.
"Harvey": Jim Parsons is utterly charming as an aging bachelor whose best friend is an invisible rabbit. If only the rest of the characters in the play weren't varyingly insufferable! While that is the point of the show to some extent, nearly everyone comes off as a set of mannerisms, rather than fully realized people.