Spoiler Alert! You Won’t Believe How The Great Gatsby Ends

Attention theater fans! The roaring twenties are back on Broadway with the highly anticipated musical adaptation of The Great Gatsby. While the glitz and glamor might evoke the extravagance of the era, does this Gatsby capture the heart of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s timeless novel? Let’s find out…

The Great Gatsby: All Flash, No Fitzgerald on Broadway

Hitting the stage at the Broadway Theatre is a dazzling, albeit somewhat tipsy, interpretation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s iconic novel, The Great Gatsby. However, this latest revival feels more like “The Glitzby Gatsby.” While the show throws everything but the kitchen sink at the audience – think elaborate dance numbers and flashy sets – it prioritizes a surface-level spectacle over a deeper exploration of the American classic.

the great gatsby outfits

Directed by Marc Bruni, the musical follows the familiar path. We meet Nick Carraway (played by the steady Noah J Ricketts), a veteran seeking a post-war escape in Long Island. The opening number, pulsating with music by Jason Howland, sets the tone for Nick’s desire to “misbehave” amidst the roaring twenties.

Enter the enigmatic Jay Gatsby (a charismatic Jeremy Jordan), pining after his lost love, Daisy (the talented Eva Noblezada). The only problem? Daisy’s already locked down by the hot-headed, old-money brute, Tom Buchanan (John Zdrojeski).

The production drowns the audience in extravagance, but it’s a Vegas-style excess, all gold-plated set pieces and dizzying projections that create Gatsby’s mansion (and a whirlwind of other locations). The supposed symbol of “new money” opulence feels more like a high-end megachurch than the lush, opulent estate Fitzgerald envisioned.

Kait Kerrigan’s script aims for laughs, but the humor starts to wear thin by Act Two. Jokes like Nick’s slapstick lament about Manhattan’s expense feel out of place. Kerrigan prioritizes the Gatsby-Daisy romance over any deeper examination of social class or the decay of the American Dream. The songs themselves become bookends for these star-crossed lovers, leaving the social commentary Fitzgerald weaved into his prose sadly neglected.

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The Roaring Twenties Fall Flat in “ The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby,” the new musical adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel, boasts a talented cast and a period score brimming with brassy jazz. But despite these strong points, the show ultimately fizzles out.

the great gatsby movie

Eva Noblezada, fresh off her Hadestown triumph, delivers a nuanced portrayal of Daisy Buchanan. Her powerful vocals shine in “For Better or Worse,” a ballad where Daisy grapples with her marital commitment. However, the rest of the music by Brendan Howland often blends together, failing to capture the emotional depth of the story.

The choreography by Dominique Kelley nicely evokes the carefree spirit of the 1920s with bursts of the Charleston. Unfortunately, while the occasional misstep in the story or direction might be forgivable in a more engaging production, “ The Great Gatsby” struggles to keep the audience truly enthralled.

Playwright Ryan Kerrigan throws everything from the novel at the audience – the billboard eyes, the green light symbolizing Gatsby’s longing, and the clash between old and new money. There’s even a bizarre “Matrix”-inspired dance number called “Shady” that highlights Gatsby’s shady business dealings. However, these elements never truly cohere into a cohesive narrative.

the great gatsby book

Director Rachel Bruni keeps the show moving at a frenetic pace, rushing us through a whirlwind of locations and plot points. This leaves the audience with awkward silences as characters vanish in their on-stage automobiles.

The focus on Gatsby’s uninspired love story with Daisy falls short. Kerrigan’s Gatsby becomes a one-note character, peppering every line with the tiresome catchphrase “old sport.” Tom Buchanan, the antagonist, is a stock villain – abusive and over-the-top. Scenes of domestic violence towards Daisy and his mistress, Myrtle, are rushed and jarring. There’s even an attempt at humor after Myrtle gets injured, which feels completely out of place.

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Perhaps the flatness of the characters is meant to reflect the vapidity of the wealthy elite in Fitzgerald’s novel. However, the production seems to miss the mark. It strives for a genuine connection between Nick Carraway and Jordan Baker (played by Samantha Pauly) but fails to develop their characters. The audience remains indifferent to their budding romance.

The musical concludes with a barrage of well-known quotes from the novel, culminating in the tired message of the rich being cold and heartless. “ The Great Gatsby” throws everything it can at the wall, hoping something will stick, but ultimately fails to capture the emotional resonance of Fitzgerald’s masterpiece.

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