Nice Work If You Can Get It


Nice Work If You Can Get It

Full-Length Musical, Comedy  /  5w, 5m

Music and Lyrics by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin
Book by Joe DiPietro

Inspired by Material by Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse

This screwball comedy is a surefire crowd-pleaser, with classic Gershwin tunes, romance, exuberant production numbers, and a hilarious script poking fun at class snobbery in the Prohibition era. 

Image: 2012 Broadway Production (Joan Marcus)

Nice Work If You Can Get It

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    5w, 5m
  • Duration
    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre
    Romantic Comedy
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Appropriate for all audiences
  • Winner! Two 2012 Tony Awards
    Nominee: Ten 2012 Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Book of a Musical
    Winner! Three 2012 Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Book of a Musical


A hilarious new screwball comedy, Nice Work If You Can Get It pokes fun at the Prohibition era in a clash of elegant socialites and boorish bootleggers, all set to the glorious songs of George and Ira Gershwin. Highlights from the score include “Fascinating Rhythm,” “Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off,” “Someone To Watch Over Me,” “Sweet and Low Down,” “Delishious” and the title song.
Nice Work If You Can Get It premiered on Broadway at the Imperial Theatre on 24 April 2012. Directed by Kathleen Marshall, the production starred Matthew Broderick and Kelli O’Hara.

Act I

It is 1927, and we are in the midst of a riotous bachelor party for the oft-married Jimmy Winter (“Sweet and Lowdown”). Outside, a trio of bootleggers—Cookie, Billie and Duke—are trying to figure out where to hide the 400 cases of gin they have stashed on their boat. As a stranger approaches, Duke and Cookie rush off. A drunken Jimmy staggers on and comes across the pants-wearing Billie and is immediately smitten. He explains his plight—he must marry someone respectable or his mother will disinherit him, so he’s marrying a woman he doesn’t truly love. Billie isn’t all that interested in his tale of woe, until he reveals that he has a huge Long Island beach house that he never uses, so she swipes his wallet to discover the address. Jimmy assumes Billie is falling for him, but Billie insists that love is for suckers. Jimmy vehemently disagrees (“Nice Work If You Can Get It”). Jimmy passes out, and Billie reflects on this interesting man unconscious on the ground before her (“Nice Work If You Can Get It - Reprise”). Cookie and Duke rush back on, and Billie tells them that she found a place to store their bootleg—a Long Island beach house! A police whistle pierces the air, and the bootleggers scatter. Senator Max Evergreen and Chief Berry enter, along with Duchess Estonia Dulworth, who has brought along her Vice Squad and vows to rid society of its greatest evil (“Demon Rum”).

The next morning, Billie, Cookie and Duke have stored their 400 cases of gin into the cellar of Jimmy’s ritzy beach house. Eileen Evergreen, the finest interpreter of modern dance in the world, enters with Jimmy. They were married that morning, and they are on their honeymoon, though Eileen has yet to allow Jimmy to touch her.  Cookie, disguised as a butler, enters and they naturally assume he’s their servant. They send him off, and Eileen tells Jimmy that she’s ready for the honeymoon shenanigans to begin—as soon as she takes a bath. She exits into the house as Billie enters, stunned to see Jimmy. Jimmy has no memory of meeting her last night, and as Jimmy flirts with her, Billie confesses that she’s never been kissed. Strictly for educational purposes, Jimmy kisses Billie, and she realizes what she’s been missing (“Someone To Watch Over Me”).

Four and a half hours later, Eileen is still bathing (“Delishious”). In the ritzy living room, Cookie and Billie devise a plan for Billie to distract Jimmy from the 400 cases of gin in his cellar. Billie runs off as Jimmy enters, followed by a gaggle of chorus girls who invite him for a group swim, which Jimmy almost accepts (“I’ve Got To Be There”). Eileen enters with a flourish, and just as she is about to let Jimmy touch her, he receives a telegram revealing that his last wife refused to sign their annulment, and an irate Eileen storms off to get her father. That night in Jimmy’s ritzy bedroom, Billie breaks in and tries to seduce him, badly (“Treat Me Rough”). Chief Berry, who has been pursuing Billie, barges in to arrest her. But Jimmy convinces him that Billie is actually his newest wife (“Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off”) and Billie and Jimmy are forced to spend the night together in his bedroom.

The next morning, Jeannie, a happy-go-lucky chorus girl, comes upon Duke, a lug from New Jersey, and mistakes him for an actual English duke. Duke, who is perpetually nervous around women, tries to escape, but Jeannie does everything in her power to get him to notice her (“Do It Again”).

In the ritzy living room, Jimmy and Billie realize that they are hopelessly in love (“‘S Wonderful”). But Eileen returns with her father—the ultra-conservative Senator Evergreen—and her aunt—the Duchess Estonia Dulworth—to demand that Jimmy and Eileen have a legal wedding. Jimmy has no choice but to marry Eileen, and Billie pretends to be a cockney maid so she can stick around and guard the bootleg. As Eileen beelines towards the cellar to get the wedding china, Jimmy and Cookie frantically distract the wedding party away from the basement (“Fascinating Rhythm”) as the curtain falls.

Act II

On the ritzy terrace, the Vice Squad and Chorus Girls revel (“Lady Be Good” Instrumental). Billie enters and realizes she’ll never be as happy as the dancing revelers around her (“But Not For Me”). Cookie and Duke enter and since they’re all now disguised as servants, they plot how they can get the impending wedding luncheon over and done as quickly as possible. The Duchess barrels on to instruct Cookie in the finer points of luncheon preparation. She insists on hiring a string quartet for entertainment, but Cookie has other ideas (“By Strauss”/”Sweet and Lowdown - Reprise”).

As Billie sets the ritzy luncheon table, Jimmy makes one last attempt to appease her (“Do, Do Do”). But Billie will have none of it. As the luncheon begins, Cookie and Duke are frantically serving the luncheon guests, and the Duchess continues to annoy Cookie, who spikes her lemonade with gin. Billie entertains them all with a cockney song (“Hangin’ Around With You”) which mainly serves as an excuse to keep pouring hot soup on Jimmy’s lap. But Billie accidentally pours some steaming soup on Eileen, who immediately fires her. The Duchess, now happily drunk, defends Billie and reveals a deep secret as she grabs onto Cookie, climbs on the luncheon table, and swings from a chandelier (“Looking For A Boy”). After Cookie drags off the Duchess, an angry Jimmy calls Billie a common criminal, and they realize that they can never be together. Jimmy goes to prepare for his wedding, as Jeannie enters looking for Duke, who Billy accidentally reveals isn’t a real duke. Jeannie is furious, so Duke tries to win her over with a poem (“Blah, Blah, Blah”). But Jeannie rushes away.

In the ritzy bedroom, Cookie is dressing Jimmy for his wedding as Billie enters to return his wallet. Jimmie and Billie both realize that this is the last time they’ll ever see each other (“Will You Remember Me?”) but Cookie has this idea…

The Chorus Girls and Vice Squad set up the wedding (“I’ve Got To Be There - Reprise”). As Senator Evergreen presides, Eileen makes her very grand entrance (“I’ve Got A Crush On You”). But just before vows are exchanged, Cookie and Duke rush in, pretending to be Prohibition Agents, though Chief Berry quickly enters and reveals their true identities. As they’re about to be arrested, Jeannie rushes in and proclaims her love for Duke, then the now-sober Duchess proclaims her love for Cookie. Still, Senator Evergreen insists the bootleggers must be arrested, but Jimmy’s mother, Millicent, makes an appearance, revealing the true nature of her son’s heritage—Senator Evergreen is Jimmy’s father. The Senator proclaims the day a joyous one and all are free to pursue their new and surprising loves. Jimmy realizes that Billie has rushed to the boathouse to sail away forever, and he rushes to swear his devotion to her. Millicent follows and reveals that she happens to be the biggest rum runner on Long Island, and she’d like Billie to marry her son and take over her business. Billie happily accepts (“Someone To Watch Over Me - Reprise”). And on the ritzy terrace under a starry night, love has blossomed, the bootleg is opened, and the company celebrates their newfound joy (“Nice Work If You Can Get It”).


Jimmy Winter – A wealthy and handsome playboy, dripping with charm and charisma.
Billie Bendix – A tough, feisty and street-wise young woman. Partners in rum-running with Cookie and Duke.
Cookie McGee – A fast-talking, wise-cracking bootlegger.
Eileen Evergreen – Thin and lovely, she is the self-proclaimed finest interpreter of modern dance in the world.


Duke Mahoney – Cookie’s sidekick. Not the brightest guy around.
Senator Max Evergreen – Eileen’s father. A humorless career politician. Serious, stern, judgmental.
Duchess Estonia Dulworth – Duchess of Woodford. A noted prohibitionist and bejeweled dowager.
Jeannie Muldoon – A lovely chorus girl from Brooklyn.
Chief Berry – Chief of the Long Island Police Department. Fiercely dedicated to his job.
Millicent Winter – A wealthy matron with great élan. Jimmy’s mother.


The Chorus Girls:

The Vice Squad:

The original Broadway production had a cast of 22 performers, including ensemble. Some doubling was employed in the minor parts.

  • Time Period 1920s
  • Setting The Winter family's ritzy Long Island Beach house, 1927.
  • Features Period Costumes
  • Duration More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Cautions
    • Alcohol


“A bubbly crowdpleaser... a good new old-fashioned musical!” – Variety

“Delishious... a farcical romantic comedy that has more twists than a pretzel and keeps the laughs building to the final curtain.” – The Huffington Post

“[A] frothy Jazz Age cocktail, brewed around a string of evergreen Gershwin tunes.” – The Hollywood Reporter

“Nonstop giddy fun thanks to its dynamic cast, Joe DiPietro’s wickedly funny dialogue, and a treasure trove of timeless Gershwin favorites and rarities.” – amNY

A lovely, witty diversion... an old-fashioned romp.” – Vulture

“Effervescent... screwball musical comedy meets the sublime songs of George and Ira Gershwin.” – The Sun-Sentinel

Nice Work provides a welcome break from the troubles of the world, allowing you to get lost in some glorious songs performed by actors who clearly love what they’re doing.” – Herald-Tribune


  • Nice Work - Broadway Highlights youtube thumbnail

    Nice Work - Broadway Highlights

  • Nice Work - Commerical youtube thumbnail

    Nice Work - Commerical

  • Kathleen Marshall on Nice Work youtube thumbnail

    Kathleen Marshall on Nice Work

  • Nice Work - Sneak Peek youtube thumbnail

    Nice Work - Sneak Peek

  • Joe DiPietro on Nice Work youtube thumbnail

    Joe DiPietro on Nice Work

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  • Nice Work If You Can Get It

    Image: 2012 Broadway Production (Joan Marcus)

  • Nice Work If You Can Get It

    Image: 2012 Broadway Production (Joan Marcus)


Music Samples

Act I

1. Overture – Orchestra
2. “Sweet And Low Down” – Jeanie, Jimmy, & Chorus
2a. Outside The Speakeasy—Orchestra
3. “Nice Work If You Can Get It”—Jimmy
4. Reprise: “Nice Work If You Can Get It” – Billie
4a. Raidin’ The Joint – Orchestra
4b. Chief Berry Enters – Orchestra
5. “Demon Rum” – Duchess, Senator, Chief, & Vice Squad
5a. Jimmy’s Beach House – Orchestra
5b. Eileen Enters – Orchestra
5c. Eileen Exits – Orchestra
5d. Jimmy And Billie Kiss – Orchestra
6. “Someone To Watch Over Me” – Billie
6a. Ritzy Bathroom – Orchestra
7. “Delishious” – Eileen & Girls
7a. Ritzy Living Room – Orchestra
7b. “Chorus Girls Enter” – Jeannie & Girls
8. “I’ve Got To Be There” – Jimmy, Jeannie, & Chorus Girls
8a. “Chorus Girls Scatter” – Eileen
9. Reprise: “I’ve Got To Be There” – Jeannie & Chorus Girls
9a. Ritzy Bedroom – Orchestra
10. “Treat Me Rough” – Billie
11. “Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off” – Jimmy, Billy, & Chief Berry
11a. Cookie Staggers In – Orchestra
12. “Do It Again” – Jeannie & Duke
12a. Billie Floats In – Orchestra
13. “’S Wonderful” – Jimmy & Billie
13a. Eileen And Duchess Entrances – Orchestra
13b. Evergreen Enters – Orchestra
13c. The Vice Squad And Billie – Orchestra
13d. Chorus Girls Enter – Orchestra
14. “Fascinating Rhythm” – Jimmy, Cookie, Vice Squad, & Chorus Girls

Act II

15. Entr’acte – Orchestra
16. Lady Be Good – Orchestra
17. “But Not For Me” – Billie
17a. Eileen’s Wedding Dance – Orchestra
18. “By Strauss” – Duchess
18a. Reprise: “Sweet And Lowdown” – Duchess & Cookie
18b. Ritzy Dining Room – Orchestra
19. “Do, Do, Do” – Jimmy & Boys
19a. “Hangin’ Around With You (Part 1)” – Billie
19b. “Hangin’ Around With You (Part 2)” – Billie
19c. “Hangin’ Around With You (Part 3)” – Billie
20. “Looking For A Boy” – Duchess & Cookie
21. “Blah, Blah, Blah” – Duke
21a. Jimmy Prepares For The Wedding – Orchestra
21b. Reprise: “Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off” – Billie & Jimmy
22. “Will You Remember Me?” – Billie & Jimmy
22a. Reprise: “We’ve Got To Be There” – Vice Squad & Chorus Girls
23. “I’ve Got A Crush On You” – Eileen & Chorus
23a. Jimmy To The Gallows – Orchestra
24. Reprise: “Blah, Blah, Blah” – Jeannie & Duke
24a. A Glass Of Lemonade – Orchestra
25. Reprise: “Looking For A Boy” –Cookie & Duchess
25a. Millicent Enters – Orchestra
25b. To The Cellar – Orchestra
26. Reprise: “Delishious” – Chief & Eileen
26a. The Boathouse – Orchestra
27. Reprise: “Someone To Watch Over Me” – Jimmy & Billie
28. Bows – Company
29. Exit Music – Orchestra

Full Orchestration

Reed 1: Flute, Clarinet, Soprano Saxophone & Alto Saxophone
Reed 2: Piccolo, Flute, Clarinet, Soprano Saxophone & Alto Saxophone
Reed 3: Oboe, English Horn, Clarinet, Soprano Saxophone & Tenor Saxophone
Reed 4: Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone & Baritone Saxophone

Trumpet 1 (doubling Flugelhorn)
Trumpet 2 (doubling Flugelhorn)
Trumpet 3 (doubling Flugelhorn)
Trombone 1
Trombone 2
Trombone 3 (Bass Trombone doubling Tuba)

Keyboard 1: Registrations for Piano, Celeste & Harmonium
Keyboard 2: Registrations for Piano & Accordion
Guitar (acoustic and electric, doubling Banjo & Ukulele)
Drums: Bass Drum, Snare Drum, Tom-toms, High-Hat, Cymbals (Crash, Splash, China), Woodblocks, Cowbell, Triangle & Bongos
Percussion: Timpani (3), Xylophone, Vibraphone, Glockenspiel, Chimes, Gran Cassa, Brake Drum, Triangle, Temple Blocks,
Suspended Cymbal, Piatti, Bell Plate, Anvil, Mouth Siren, Sandpaper Blocks, Mark Tree, Cork Pops, Ratchet, Pipe & Castanets

Solo Violin (doubling Viola)

  • Musical Style Classic Broadway
  • Dance Requirements Moderate
  • Vocal DemandsDifficult
  • Orchestra Size Large
  • Chorus Size Medium

Licensing & Materials

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.

    PLEASE BE ADVISED: There are multiple versions of this title. Before you proceed, please double-check to ensure that you are applying for the version you want. We will not be able to refund rental or shipping fees if you pay for the wrong version. If you’re not sure which version best suits your needs, you may purchase a perusal for each available version.

Music Rentals

Concord offers a full suite of resources to help you put on the show of a lifetime!
1 Piano-Conductor
24 Libretto-Vocal
1 Reed 1
1 Reed 2
1 Reed 3
1 Reed 4
1 Trumpet 1
1 Trumpet 2
1 Trumpet 3
1 Trombone 1
1 Trombone 2
1 Trumpet 3
1 Keyboard 1
1 Keyboard 2
1 Percussion
1 Drums
1 Guitar
1 Violin
1 Bass
1 Piano-Conductor
24 Libretto-Vocal


George Gershwin

George Gershwin was born in Brooklyn on September 26, 1898, and began his musical training when he was 13. At 16, he quit high school to work as a "song plugger" for a music publisher, and soon he was writing songs himself. "Swanee," as introduced by Al Jolson, brought George ...

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Ira Gershwin

Ira Gershwin, the first songwriter to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize, was born in New York City on December 6, 1896. In 1917 The Evening Sun published his first song (“You May Throw All The Rice You Desire But Please, Friends, Throw No Shoes”). Four years later, Ira enjoyed hi ...

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Joe DiPietro

Joe DiPietro has won two Tony Awards, a Drama Desk Award and three Outer Critics Circle Awards. Broadway: Diana (also on Netflix), Nice Work If You Can Get It starring Matthew Broderick and Kelli O'Hara (10 Tony nominations, including Best Book and Best Musical), Memphis (4 T ...
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Guy Bolton

Guy Bolton (1884-1979) was born in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, England, on November 23, 1884. Bolton famously collaborated with Jerome Kern and P.G. Wodehouse on a series of buoyant musicals for the 299-seat Princess Theatre, including Have A Heart; Oh, Boy!; Leave It To Jane; ...

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P.G. Wodehouse

P.G. Wodehouse (1881-1975) and Guy Bolton (1884-1979) were both born in England. They were introduced by Jerome Kern, and he suggested they all work together. They did, tirelessly, and in the beginning of their collaboration wrote nearly one show per month: the famed Princess ...

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