Crazy for You Youth Review 3

Apr 10 2018 | By More

★★★☆☆   A Gersh-winning performance

Edinburgh Playhouse: Tue 3 – Sat 7 April 2018
Youth review by Lucy Swan

Carried by a multitalented cast and top-notch comedic timing, the Watermill Theatre’s Production of Crazy for You delivers plenty of laughs for the whole family, but lacks emotional intelligence.

The story begins with Bobby, a banker from New York, played expertly by Tom Chambers, who is sent to foreclose on the Gaiety Theatre, a property that is fiercely protected by the proprietor’s daughter, Polly Baker, brought to life by Charlotte Wakefield.

Tom Chambers. Pic: Richard Davenport.

While the actors effortlessly succeed in delivering classic Gershwin hits such as Embraceable You, and They Can’t Take That Away From Me, they fail to establish an emotional chemistry between the two protagonists, and this leaves the audience entertained, but uncaring.

Re-written for modern audiences, Crazy For You, is based on the original Gershwin production Girl Crazy that opened in 1930. After the original rewrite, Crazy For You opened at the Shubert Theatre, New York, in 1992, and in the early 90s the show went on to win a Tony for Best Musical, and Olivier Awards for the Best Musical and Choreography.

While it is clear that director Paul Hart has put a lot of work in to ensure that the Watermill Theatre production lives up to its predecessors, he has forgotten to focus on the aspect of character interaction. Due to this, it is difficult to connect with the characters on anything beyond a cheap laugh.

Emotional development aside, the cast truly does give their all when it comes to the musical numbers, with each cast member donning at least one instrument throughout the show, along with their vocals, which allows them to really showcase their talent.

slapstick-based misfortune

The cast, particularly Chambers and his comedy counterpart Neil Ditt – playing the real Bela Zangler – stop at nothing to fuel laughter in the audience, especially during the performance of What Causes That, even participating in stunts and encouraging moments of audience participation. This makes the show fun for the whole family, allowing people of all ages to laugh at the expense of Bobby and his slapstick-based misfortune.

Appearing as the last musical number in act one, I Got Rhythm, is without a doubt the height of musical excellence within the show. With complicated choreography, harmonies, and stage direction, it provides plenty of opportunities for the cast to lose their timing – however it accumulates in a flawless performance.

The show offers an immense amount of comedy and allows a musical escape to a world full of wit, colour, and whimsy, which is extremely entertaining to all. However, with a bit more insight into human communication, it could invoke more of an emotional connection from the audience.

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 Lucy Swan 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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