'Nice Work' stars in Peoria

Adam Larck
mtn@timestoday.com

The upcoming musical at the Peoria Civic Center will take attendees back to the Roaring Twenties.

“Nice Work If You Can Get It” centers on wealthy playboy Jimmy Winter as he meets bootlegging woman Billie Bendix, according to cast member Chris Wood, who plays vice squad member Fletcher.

Wood called the musical a “screwball comedy” that shows the antics that ensues between Winter and Bendix.

Between the comedy, he said that the music gets incorporated seamlessly with the script.

“They’re all (George and Ira) Gershwin classics,” Wood said. “My favorite tunes are ‘S Wonderful’ and ‘Fascinating Rhythm.’”

He added that “Do, Do, Do” is an interesting song as well.

The musical takes place at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 28 and 29 at the Civic Center Theater. Tickets range from $37-$67, and can be purchased at TicketMaster.com or the Peoria Civic Center Box Office.

Wood, in his third tour, said this isn’t the first time he has been in Peoria. In 2012, he visited the Civic Center in “Shrek: The Musical.”

“It was great,” Wood said. “Unfortunately, we were only there a couple of days but I remember a great time and great audiences.”

He got his start in musical productions in New Orleans when he was about 9 years old and has been in theater ever since.

While he did many local performances in New Orleans, such as “Rent” in 2008, he started touring nationally, first in “The Wizard of Oz” and next in “Shrek: The Musical.”

“I had such great experience with my last two tours,” he said.

After enjoying touring internationally and hearing about the team behind “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” he said he “was determined to make” his third tour work.

Wood said the musical is a great time for people of all ages thanks to its slapstick comedy and music.

“Just the other night in St. Paul, I saw a family leaving that had three generations that had a great time,” he said.