CRAZY FOR YOU
book by Ken Ludwig music and lyrics by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin.
Upstairs at the Gatehouse Highgate Village N6 4BD To 27 January 2013.
Tue–Sat 7.30 pm no performance 25 Dec Mat Sun 4pm & 21, 28 Dec 3pm.
Runs 2hr 30min One interval.
TICKETS: 0208 340 3488.
Review: William Russell 18 December.
Crazy about it.
Polished, well cast, well sung, slickly directed by John Plews and superbly choreographed by Grant Murphy, this is the first time this “invented” Gershwin musical has made the “fringe.” A Christmas treat to relish, almost as good as this theatre’s Guys and Dolls last year, it is loosely based by Ken Ludwig on a show the brothers wrote in 1930 called Girl Crazy.
But Ludwig has revamped the plot and added more songs from other musicals until it is more of a “Sing-along with the best of Gershwin” than anything else. He has possibly added too many songs because one or two very good ballads get such short shrift that at times it seems like one darned thing after another. Nor do they necessarily fit either the characters or the plot, especially when the verse is sung. But that is by the by.
The story is the one about putting on a show right here – “Mickey Rooney does it all the time,” one character says. In a Nevada hick- town the local theatre is threatened with closure by a New York bank and Bobby, a dance mad young banker, has come to do the dirty deed. The rest really does not matter. Boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl and that is about it.
The heroine, Polly (Ceili O’Connor, who is very pretty and sings delightfully) is a cowgirl in jeans with a mean right fist, but will as we all know scrub up beautifully Calamity Jane fashion at the end. Bobby (Jay Rincon, nicely nerdish and dancing splendidly) impersonates a Broadway impresario to win Polly, puts on a show to save the theatre which belongs to her father, turns the cowpokes into chorus boys, and imports some real Broadway chorus girls to help out.
The three chorines high kick amazingly and their routines steal the show – no mean feat as the competition is tough. But why do they all have to be miked?
Bobby: Jay Rincon.
Polly: Ceili O’Connor.
Lottie Child/Patricia Fodor: Tamsin Dowsett.
Irene Roth: Natalie Lipin.
Lank Hawkins: James Wolstenholme.
Bela Zangler: James Doughty.
Perkins/Eugene Fodor: Anthony Williamson.
Everett Baker: Ben Bazell.
Tess: Sara Morley.
Patsy: Becky Bassett.
Mitzi: Georgie Burdett.
Moose: Ricky Morrell.
Mingo: Simon Ouldred.
Custus: Tom Pepper.
Director: John Plews.
Designer: Suzi Lombardelli.
Lighting: Tom Boucher.
Sound: Jon Raper.
Musical Director: Oliver-John Ruthven.
Choreographer: Grant Murphy.
Costume: Max Dorey.
Voice coach: Nick Dicola.
Fight director: Lyndall Grant.