Villanova Student Musical Theater Successfully Opens Fall Musical In St. Mary’s Theater


nice work

Alison Niet Culture Editor

On Wednesday, Oct. 24, Villanova Student Musical Theater, or VSMT, opened their fall show “Nice Work If You Can Get It” in the St. Mary’s theater. This musical comedy, directed by Jack Evans and Alyssa Mattia delivered an electrifying performance by a showstopping cast. 

The story centers around Billie Bendix (Emma Ubriaco) a bootlegger in the prohibition era looking for a place to store her illegal liquor. After bumping into playboy Jimmy Winters (Ben Lubker) outside a speakeasy, Bendix and her two bootlegging pals, Cookie McGee and Duke Simmons (Liam Wolfe and James Sullivan) decide to hide their stash in Winters’ unused beach house, away from the prying eyes of Duchess Estonia Elsworth (Amanda Atkinson) and Senator Evergreen (Mikey Pacitti). However, when Winters and his new wife, Eileen Evergreen (Jessica Zimmermann) decide to honeymoon in the usually abandoned beach-house, our bootlegging crew finds themselves in a wacky runaround, trying to keep anyone and everyone out of the cellar, where 400 cases of illegal booze are being hidden. The beach-house quickly fills with the entire cast of characters, including police chief Bartholomew Berry (Stephen McDonnell). Under the expert direction of Evans and Mattia, audiences will be left spellbound for the entire duration of the show. 

While the entire cast is full of talent, one standout performance is Wolfe’s Cookie McGee. Wolfe has impeccable comedic timing, jumping on every line and squeezing a laugh out of it. His facial expressions and mannerisms bring Cookie to life, so much so that I forget that Wolfe was a person outside of his character. Wolfe had the audiences roaring with laughter every scene that he was onstage, although his standout scene was in the beginning of Act II, when his character Cookie McGee was serving dinner to Winters, Eileen Evergreen, the Senator and Estonia. Another standout performance was James Sullivan’s portrayal of Duke Simmons, the lovable yet dull bootlegger who falls for Jeannie Muldoon (Nicolette Ferre). Sullivan’s sweet demeanor, comedic timing and stage presence allowed him to steal the scene whenever he graced the stage, which was oftentimes alongside Wolfe. All and all, the show was an absolute delight and showcased VSMT’s talent with both new and old faces. You can catch their performance of “Nice Work If You Can Get It” on Nov. 1 and 2. Tickets are $7 at the door for students.