Review: 'Crazy For You' at Theatre By The Sea, through July 11th

Review: 'Crazy For You' at Theatre By The Sea, through July 11th

Based on the all-singing, all-dancing 1930 Gershwin musical Girl Crazy, Theater By The Sea presents the 1992 TONY-award winning musical Crazy For You, through July 11th.

The story revolves around would-be song and dance man Bobby Childs (Sean Montgomery) who is faced with the decision of whether to bend to his mother Lottie’s (Kay Francis) wishes and go into the family banking business or to follow his heart and go into show business.  While his mother squabbles with his fiancé Irene (Chelsea Witiak), Bobby decides that he will follow the paycheck and accepts the assignment to foreclose on a post office/theater in Deadrock, NV.

Upon his arrival in the ghost-town Bobby meets Polly (Laurie Hymes), whose father Everett ( John Baker) owns the theater.  Polly is charmed by Bobby until she discovers his mission.  Bobby falls in love with Polly and the theater and is determined to save it from his family’s bank foreclosure.  Bobby disguises himself as the big, New York producer Bela Zangler (Ira Denmark) and attempts to save the theater by putting on a big fundraising show.  Cue the cowpokes turned chorus boys and the high jinks.

Crazy For You is a bit clunky for what was billed as  a “new” musical in 1992, but the show retains much of the Gershwin charm.

Act One, while a bit too long, contains many memorable Gershwin tunes, presented in full musical-theater style.  Act One numbers include ‘Shall We Dance?’ (from Shall We Dance?), ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’ (from Oh, Kay) , ‘Embraceable You’ (from Girl Crazy) and ‘I Got Rhythm’ (also from Girl Crazy).

The production numbers, with Barbara Hartwig recreating Susan Stroman’s charming choreography, are sharp and fully-realized.  There are no minor players as Director Amiee Turner makes sure the sequences are big, fast and full of kinetic energy.

In Act Two Sean Montgomery and Ira Denmark get to do a clever mirror-image routine, (think Lucille Ball and Harpo Marx).  The duo perform the number with aplomb.

Brad Musgrove’s cotton-candy costumes are picture perfect for the production.  Music Director Andrew Smithson, once again, creates a big Broadway sound in the barn’s small pit.

Crazy For You lives or dies on the strength of its male lead.  In this production, Turner has bet successfully on the talent and charm of Mr. Montgomery.

Crazy For You is presented by Theater By The Sea in Matunuck, RI through July 11th.  Tickets range from $39-$49 and can be purchased at the Box Office which is located at 364 Cards Pond Road, Matunuck, RI or by phone at (401)782-TKTS.  For more information visit www.theatrebythesea.com.

Photo: Sean Montgomery as Bobby Child and (clockwise from left) Kari Floberg, Laura Graham, Jillian Helms, Rachel Rice, Ann-Marie Sepe, Beckley Andrews and Hilary Rushford perform ‘Nice Work if You Can Get It’.

Photo by Mark Turek 


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