Crazy for You Youth Review 1

Apr 10 2018 | By More

★★★☆☆   Timeless yet modern

Edinburgh Playhouse: Tue 3 – Sat 7 April 2018
Youth review by Christy Anderson

Terrifically timed tapping toes and the pipes to deliver incredible vocals retell a love story from the Wild West, but what seems to be missing is true character development.

In short, Tom Chambers, the sixth series winner of Strictly Come Dancing, treads the boards as the quirky yet clumsy banker Bobby Child who is set to pull the curtain of the Gaiety Theatre in Nevada. That is until he is star-stricken by the dazzling daughter of the owner, Polly Baker, whose role is taken on by Charlotte Wakefield.

A scene from Crazy for You. Pic: Richard Davenport.

This revamping of the Gershwin brothers’ classic musical Girl Crazy was brought back to life with modern flair in the 1990s; and, sure enough, brings a new spark to a somewhat lacklustre plot.

Chambers starts off extremely well. In his first number he tries to capture the attention of the infamous director Bela Zangler and his desperation to be on the stage couldn’t be any more apparent. As the show progresses, however, it becomes obvious that, as soon as he meets Polly Baker, his desire to be on stage has taken a drastic turn. That desire being to be with Polly instead. There are glimpses of Child having those passions as the show goes on, especially when in the last-ditch effort to re-establish the Gaiety Theatre to its former glory, but they are short-lived.

What Chambers does shine through and is consistent with is his tapping toes that never seem to tire out. From number to number he puts in 110%. The most memorable is the synchronised routine of What Causes That with Bela Zangler (Neil Ditt). All it took was the two of them and a few props but it was extremely clever and worked seamlessly – in stark contrast to the busy big numbers that had come before it.

stunning to watch

Charlotte Wakefield is where this show truly shines, her name deserving to be at the top of the bill. She has taken both hands to the role of the spunky, headstrong Polly Baker whose vocals soar from the start, whilst simultaneously nailing the choreography from Nathan M Wright. She is visually and technically stunning to watch. All this and she has been able to develop the most complex of all the characters, falling in and out of love with Bobby along with being conflicted with her life and the lives of those around her.

A special mention should be for the chorus, not just being there to fill up the stage but to also providing the supporting accompaniment for the stars of the show. They have mastered the art of dancing alongside the music they are playing themselves.

Irene (Claire Sweeney), Bobby’s long-term fiancé seemed to have a slightly stiff start in the first act, but as Act 2 progressed she loosens up. This is significantly improved in her number Naughty Baby with Christopher Fry as Lank, where we see her sensual yet comedic side flourish out of her.

Overall this show does have its slip-ups that don’t go unnoticed but in the end, the good elements that are sprinkled in throughout ultimately tie it up with a golden ribbon and make it a spectacular show to see.

Running time: two hours and 25 minutes (including one interval)
Seen at Edinburgh Playhouse, 18 – 22 Greenside Place, EH1 3AA.
Crazy for You is on tour through to June 2018.

This junior review by Christy Anderson was an entry in the Edinburgh Playhouse young reviews scheme, April 2018.

Crazy for You on tour:
3 – 7 April 2018 Edinburgh
0844 871 3014 Book online
10 – 14 April 2018 Bradford
The Alhambra Theatre
01274 432000 Book online
24 – 28 April 2018 Sunderland
0844 871 3022 Book online
1 – 5 May 2018 Swansea
Grand Theatre
01792 475 715 Book online
8 – 12 May 2018 Wolverhampton
Grand Theatre
01902 429 212 Book online
15 – 19 May 2018 Woking
New Victoria Theatre
0844 871 7645 Book online
29 May – 2 June 2018 Brighton
Theatre Royal
0844 871 7650 Book online
4 – 9 June 2018 Leicester
0116 242 3595 Book online


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  1. Young Reviewers Winners : All Edinburgh | Apr 10 2018
  1. Ian Shakeshaft says:

    What an excellent, professional review, well done Christie!

  2. Liane says:

    Great review