Friday, March 29, 2024

Gatsby on Broadway

Last night, I had the privilege of seeing a dress rehearsal for The Great Gatsby, which officially begins performances on Broadway tonight.

I won't give any spoilers other than to say you will want to see this show. Nathan Tysen's lyrics are delightful, and Jason Howland's contemporary score manages to capture the spirit of the Jazz Age while still resonating with audiences today.

Kait Kerrigan has done an excellent job adapting F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel for the stage, sometimes providing fresh insights that are only implied in the novel, and sometimes having the good sense to just give us Fitzgerald's words straight up, reminding us how insightful he was a century ago--and still today.

The cast is headlined by Jeremy Jordan as Jay Gatsby as Eva Noblezada as Daisy Buchanan. Noah J. Ricketts plays Nick Carraway, who narrates the novel, but is not present in every scene onstage, giving a different energy to scenes where Jay and Daisy can speak their minds without worrying about Nick overhearing every word.

I particularly enjoyed the performance of Samantha Pauly as Jordan Baker. Even though we know her romance with Nick is doomed, we can't help believing in it and rooting for them. Similarly, when Gatsby goes for a fatal swim, we know precisely what is going to happen, but still can't help but be surprised as it plays out on the magnificent set designed by Paul Tate dePoo III.

With the novel entering the public domain, there are numerous adaptations and re-imaginings being offered up, including last year's immersive production, but the Broadway musical is bound to stand out, so be sure to catch it!