Broadway North Makes A Stand
Spoiler Alert: Crazy for You, now being given a mega glamourous staging at the Stratford Festival, is basically a fix-up of “Girl Crazy” (the 1930 Broadway hit). The reincarnation juggled the original plot elements and gave the story more zip — not that the new story makes any more sense. It’s charmingly preposterous. You not only have to suspend your disbelief, you have to put your disbelief in concrete overshoes, drop it into the Thames River and change your address.
Bobby Child (Josh Franklin), a rich young up and comer in New York City, just wants to dance. Bela Zangler (Tom Rooney), the wants him to dance too but preferably in somebody else’s theater. His mom (Lally Cadeau) wants him in the family business (banking, that is) and sends him to Deadrock, Nev., to foreclose on a cowboy theater.
There, Bobby falls in love with Polly Baker (Natalie Daradich), the theater’s cowgirl proprietor. Complications and misunderstandingsensue. Bobby and Polly put on a show to save the theater. They do. While this snappy synopsis sounds borderline sane, get ready for a stampede of hilarity.
As with the original “Girl Crazy,” the story’s just an excuse to put the George and Ira Gershwin songbook on stage. These crowd-pleasers include “I Got Rhythm,” “Bidin’ My Time,” “I Can’t Be Bothered Now,” “They Can’t Take That Away from Me,” “But Not for Me,” “Embraceable You and Someone to Watch Over Me,” “Naughty Baby,” “Stiff Upper Lip,” “Nice Work if You Can Get It” and, of course, “K-ra-zy for You.”
This ear candy is delivered via Donna Feore’s screwball direction and high-voltage choreography and a cast bubbling with chemistry.
Surprisingly, there are no weak links in the cast’s comedic chain — or weak legs, in the killer congeries of chorus girls. Incredible sound direction by Shelley Hanson, great costumes by Debra Hanson gives this particular Crazy bona fide Broadway north status.
Review by Leanne Goodyear