REVIEW: Crazy For You – Theatre Guild of Glasgow, Eastwood Park Theatre 8th October 2011
Today saw another visit to the Eastwood Park Theatre this time to see The Theatre Guild of Glasgow’s week-long, sell-out production of Gershwin’s Crazy For You.
CRAZY FOR YOU is the story of Bobby Child, a well-to-do 1930’s playboy, whose dream in life is to dance. Despite the serious efforts of his mother and soon-to-be-ex-fiancee, Bobby achieves his dream. In doing so, he travels to Deadrock, Nevada, ostensibly to foreclose on the mortgage of the failing Gaiety Theatre. However, he falls for local girl, Polly, and he sets out to impress her. He decides to pose as New York theatre producer Zangler and put on a show to save the theatre using the deadbeat local townsfolk as the entertainment! Turning the sleepy local cowboys into dancers is not easy but, aside from that, all seems to go well until the real Zangler shows up with Bobby’s mother and the “Zangler’s Folly’s” in tow.
It’s a high energy comedy which includes mistaken identity, plot twists, fabulous dance numbers and classic Gershwin music. It played for 1,622 performances on Broadway at the Shubert Theatre and won 3 Tony Awards including Best Musical.
Songs include They Can’t Take That Away From Me, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Bidin’ My Time, Embraceable You, Someone To Watch Over Me and I’ve Got Rhythm.
This is a high quality amateur performance. The ensemble were of such fine voice that you would be hard pressed to hear better in the West End. There was a perfect balance of every vocal range and each note rang out perfectly for the whole performance. The orchestra were also top notch. This was a huge cast (over 40+) and there were few weak notes. If any criticism could be levelled it would be at the two leads – Adele Simpson as Polly Baker was a strong performer and when singing the “belting” numbers she was competent, but her voice in the lower range was less than reliable. I was also slightly distracted by thoughts of her resemblance to a young Margaret Thatcher! David McCurrach in the lead role of Bobby Child was rarely off stage and his voice was competent enough but he really was no mover! There is a lot of dancing for the leading man in this show and he looked ungainly and a bit embarassed throughout. As a seasoned performer (according to the show notes) he should know that a poor dancer with confidence and conviction can get away with a lot! He also lacked charisma which this role really needs. (Oh and next time please make sure the poor guy has a suit that fits him!) On the whole however, this was a visual delight – the set design, costumes and sheer size and quality of cast meant it was an impressive and entertaining show.