Crazy For You
Fancy foot work and smiles galore ensure a rompin’ good time in ‘Crazy For You.’ Inhaling with curiosity and exhaling with style, director Donna Feore makes staging a musical look as natural as breathing.

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

CRAZY FOR YOU by George Gershwin Apr. 21 – Oct. 12, 2014 FESTIVAL THEATRE, Stratford TICKETS: $45.00 – $135.00 1-800-561-1600 www.stratfordfestival.ca CAST Natalie Daradich, Josh Franklin, Tom Rooney, Matt Alfano, Matthew Armet, Carla Bennett, Lally Cadeau, Shane Carty, Stephen Cota, Keith Dinicol, Marisa Falcone, Sean Alexander, Alexandra Herzog, Robin Hutton, Bonnie Jordan, Monique Lund, Ayrin Mackie, Michael McClennan, Chad McFadden, Marcus Nance, Cory O’Brien, Stephen Patterson, Kimberley Rampersad, Steve Ross, Mike Tracz, Breanna Willis, Shawn Wright DIRECTOR AND CHOREOGRAPHER Donna Feore MUSICAL DIRECTOR Shelley Hanson SET AND COSTUMES Debra Hanson LIGHTING Paul Miller

4 Readers Commented

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  1. Lisa Jackson on June 19, 2014

    Crazy For You is like having an ice cream cone on a hot summer’s day. Who could ask for anything more?!? This is a perfect family musical to indulge in for a weekend getaway.

  2. Deirdre From Ottawa on July 4, 2014

    I can’t remember a time when a musical made me feel this good. I appreciate the modern works but boy does it feel good to go back to the classics like ‘Crazy For You.’

  3. Francois on July 27, 2014

    My fickle teenagers groaned when I told them we were seeing this show. They couldn’t shut up about much fun it was all the way back to the hotel.

  4. Tyler on July 29, 2014

    This is my first visit back to Stratford since I saw Tommy last summer. I can’t believe how good the dancing was in Crazy For You. And the smiles on stage never ended! Almost like the production was sponsored by an anti-depressant Pharmaceutical company. Booyah.

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