Crazy for you is an old style musical featuring the beautiful songs of Gershwin. It is an all dancing and singing extravaganza and the story is in-keeping with the style of music. Set in the 1930’s, the show starts in New York as the Zangler Follies are wrapping up for the season. Bobby Child is the son of a rich banking family but really wants to dance and sing instead. He doesn’t really impress Bela Zangler whose dry wit cuts Bobby down. Bobby’s fiancée is Irene who bobby’s mother doesn’t like very much so Bobby’s mother sends him to Deadrock, Nevada to foreclose on a property there and to get him away from Irene.
Deadrock is an hour from the nearest train station and it really is a forgotten ghost town. (almost another Calamity Jane). However, Bobby meets and falls in love with Polly Baker, who is the daughter of the owner of the property he has to foreclose on. He has an idea. Put on a show and save the theatre. It’s the perfect solution.
The show features some classic songs such as Someone To Watch Over Me, They Can’t Take That Away From Me, Nice Work If You Can Get It and I Got Rhythm. There were times I found myself doing jazz hands in my seat! It was a show that has all the trademarks of a great old fashioned musical. The sort you used to watch in black and white on your TV as a kid.
Tom Chambers stars as Bobby and he tap dances his way through the show with style. He won the Strictly trophy back in 2006 with Professional dancer, Camilla Dallerup and has not lost his charm or pizzazz when it comes to dancing. Polly is played by Charlotte Wakefield and she is absolutely stunning in the role. Her voice is exceptional and she plays Polly with sass and confidence as if the role was written for her. Her presence on the stage is so powerful she owns every scene she is in. I have always loved Clare Sweeney who plays Irene and Clare gives another outstanding performance but sadly in my opinion isn’t on the stage enough. We want to see more of you Clare! Polly’s love rival is Lank Hawkins and is played by Christopher Fry. Christopher plays Lank with full on macho attitude that mellows when he switches his love to Irene. Bela was played by Neil Ditt and his portrayal of Zangler is fabulous. He has some of the best one liners in the show and delivers with style. Ned Rudkins-Stow plays Moose and his supporting role was very enjoyable. He really brought character to Deadrock. I also enjoyed some of the supporting cast members’ character development.
I do need to point out that there is no orchestra for this production. The cast play all the instruments themselves and while this is becoming more common place in theatres I personally don’t think it works well in this production. The cast are extremely talented but in my opinion they were chosen for their musical ability first and dancing ability second. I was expecting a Strictly standard version of Ziegfeld Follies which of course the Zangler Follies are based on. I wanted the dancing to be tighter and in time. The show also lacked energy. This show has the potential to be amazing and to send shivers down your spine, but it is missing something in this production. All the cast work really hard and individually are very talented but in my opinion the show didn’t gel together. However the music and story is beautiful and worth going to see.
Crazy For You is on at Milton Keynes Theatre until 24 March 2018.