Crazy For You charts the troubled love story of Bobby, son of a wealthy New York banking family and frustrated Broadway hoofer, and Polly, daughter of the proprietor of a failing theatre in Deadrock, Nevada. Sent to close the theatre down, Bobby falls for Polly and, in the guise of a Hungarian impresario, decides to save the theatre by putting on a show. Our resident fan of all things ‘jazz hands’ Lilith hunt-Sheppard went along to the Hippodrome to catch the show for herself.
As my guest and I arrived at Birmingham Hippodrome, I knew we were going to see a sensational show with Leading man Tom Chamber (Bobby Child) bringing his talent and charm to the stage. As the house lights dim and he enters the stage, you can’t help but instantly fall in love with the charming and determined Bobby, who’s only desire in life is to dance on the stage. Although Bobby’s charm wins over the chorus line and his fiancé Irene Roth (Caroline Flack) Bobby doesn’t have the same success with stage director Bela Zangle (Neil Ditt) or his own mother Lottie Child (Kate Milner-Evans). Desperate for her son to follow a ‘meaningful’ career, she sends him to close a foreclosure in the middle of nowhere town of Deadrock.
Not to give too much of the story away, it’s here that Bobby realises he can follow his dreams of being on the stage and devises a ruse to make that dream come too. One thing Bobby didn’t count on was meeting the town’s only female Polly Baker (Charlotte Wakefield). The no-nonsense local has no problem putting Bobby in his place when she realises that he is there to foreclose her father theatre. What follows is one of the funniest, musical pieces of theatre we have ever seen.
The set is almost simplistic and incredibly effective. Set predominantly in a dilapidated theatre clever use of lighting and back drops soon turn it a beautiful grand theatre that’s in its heyday. All of which adds to the charm and magic of the musical
It is hard to know where to start when talking about the cast as there is just so much talent on one stage. Firstly, not only does laughter fill the audience through the entire show but all the while they are performing they also make up the shows musicians too. It is hard enough to sing and dance on stage, let alone throw in that they are pretty much all playing instruments and never miss a beat. It simply was incredible to watch and listen to, with some hilariously funny scenes especially a drunk Bobby Child and Bela Zangler.
Crazy For You is Gershwin at their very best full of mistaken identities, heartbreak, happiness and a wealth of memorable tunes, including I Got Rhythm, They Can’t Take That Away From Me, Nice Work If You Can Get It and Embraceable You, all performed with such pizzazz you could just watch this stunning performance again and again.
Now showing at:
Hurst Street, Southside, Birmingham, B5 4TB
Click HERE to book your tickets.