The Great Gatsby Grants A Gratuitous Look At The On Going Wealth Gap







The new musical adaptation of “The Great Gatsby” on Broadway seems to be in a race to outdo other shows that feature more rain than you can shake a stick at and more cars than Jerry Seinfeld could handle. Jay Gatsby, the self-made enigma and party king of West Egg, Long Island, is a man of insecurities hidden behind a facade of wealth, constantly teetering on the edge of exposure. Like all men.


In this dazzling Jazz Age production, Gatsby’s grand gestures to impress the high society, from showcasing his Oxford photo like a desperate salesman to transforming his neighbor Nick’s modest cottage into a lavish party palace for Daisy Fay Buchanan, add a delightful comedic touch. Jeremy Jordan’s Gatsby is a lovably frantic mess, serenading his anxiety in charming songs as he awaits Daisy’s arrival, only to stumble ungracefully into greenery.


Amidst the glitz and glamour of the grand musical numbers and stunning costumes, including Daisy’s flowing ensembles and Gatsby’s bright yellow Rolls-Royce and Tom’s flashy blue coupe, the show captures the essence of the era. However, the production’s focus on comedy and romance overshadows the tragic core of Fitzgerald’s novel, diluting its impact. The poppy Broadway sound fills the urgency needed to evoke the Jazz Age spirit or wild abandon, leaving a void in the musical score.


Though the core cast shines, with standout performances by Jeremy Jordan, Eva Noblezada, Noah J. Ricketts, and Samantha Pauly, the adaptation struggles with darker themes and character depth. Though the portrayal of Tom’s affair with Myrtle Wilson has the gravity and dignity required, it fails to set up the wider devastation pivotal to the story.


While the musical aims to provide a good time, it falls short of delving into the moral complexities of Gatsby’s journey and the profound tragedy at its core. As the production concludes with a lackluster rendition of the novel’s poignant final line, the ensemble of dancers steal the spotlight, emphasizing the show’s preference for revelry over reflection. The Chorus in this piece had double duty. Their presence is ever known on the stage as they lit it up. There is so much singing and dancing in this over-the-top Broadway musical. Sadly though I am not humming any tunes on my way out. All I hear is a mish-mosh of loud crescendo in my head.


In the end, “The Great Gatsby” musical adaptation sparkles with Jazz Age charm and whimsical romance but struggles to embrace the profound tragedy and moral intricacies that define Fitzgerald’s timeless novel. The lively performances and dazzling production elements offer a delightful escape into Gatsby’s extravagant world, yet the show’s reluctance to delve deeper into the darker undercurrents leaves it a bit adrift in the sea of Broadway adaptations. Also, I really hate the ultra-wealthy.


Run Time 2 hours 30 minutes

One: 15 minute Intermission

For Tickets:

DB Frick
D.B. is a long time writer and performer. He's had the opportunity to work alongside such greats a Martin Scorsese and Jesse Eisenberg. Most recently D.B. was a writer and performer for the podcast The National Lampoon Presents The Final Edition run by comic icon Tony Hendra, whom D.B. has also written with. D.B. was Senior Comedy Writer for The NY Theatre Guide, interviewing many greats and reviewing NYC Comedy. D.B. also has a script used as material in an NYU Tisch writing class taught by mentor, D.B. Gilles. D.B. has also taught Improv and Writing at UCLA and Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.

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