Josh Franklin and Natalie Daradich-Led CRAZY FOR YOU Begins Performances at Stratford Festival Tonight
Fresh from her triumph with last season's hit musical, Fiddler on the Roof, acclaimed director and choreographer Donna Feore returns for her 20th Festival season with an exciting new production of Crazy for You specially conceived for the Festival Theatre's thrust stage. The new Gershwin musical begins previews on Monday, April 21, marking the first performance of the 2014 season.
Ms Feore, the force behind a growing list of hit musicals at the Festival, including You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Oklahoma! and Oliver!, has taken a completely fresh approach to Crazy for You, creating an entirely new production with its own unique staging and choreography. The show boasts more than 14 spectacular song-and-dance numbers featuring a broad range of styles, including jazz, Charleston, lindy hop, cancan and even the early stages of jitterbug.
"Not a single day has passed since I began work on the show that I have not heard something new in Gershwin's extraordinary music," says Ms Feore. "The complexity of his score inspired me to explore equally demanding styles of dance. I've based the choreography on the most exhilarating dance styles of the period. Gershwin loved hanging out at the Savoy Ballroom in the late twenties, and I'm certain that while there he was dazzled by the Charleston and the original swing dance - the lindy hop - a dance that was hot, wild and not a little dangerous."
Crazy for You tells the story of Bobby Child who is sent to Deadrock, Nevada, to foreclose on a derelict theatre but unexpectedly falls for its owner's daughter, Polly Baker. The high-energy comedy and romance are further elevated by the dazzling score packed with beloved Gershwin songs, including "I Got Rhythm," "Nice Work if You Can Get It," "They Can't Take That Away From Me" and "Someone to Watch Over Me." Celebrating the joyous insanity of the bumpy road to love, Crazy for You is a lighthearted choice within the season's overall theme of Madness: Minds Pushed to the Edge.
"Crazy for You promises to be a masterpiece in every sense of the word: a song-and-dance spectacle with stunning dance routines, exquisite staging and costumes, and of course, the powerful force of the Gershwins' timeless music," says Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino. "Revamping the show especially for our stage, as Donna has so brilliantly done, brings the most spectacular dancers in the country up close and personal with our audiences, giving them an experience they can't find anywhere else in quite the same way."
The cast also features Lally Cadeau as Mrs. Lottie Child, Shane Carty as Lank Hawkins, Keith Dinicol as Everett Baker, Robin Hutton as Irene Roth, Monique Lund as Patricia Fodor, Marcus Nance as Mingo, Stephen Patterson as Sam, Steve Ross as Moose and Shawn Wright as Eugene Fodor.
Artistic credits include Musical Director Shelley Hanson, Designer Debra Hanson, Lighting Designer Paul Miller, Sound Designer Peter McBoyle and Fight Director John Stead.
"The excitement of rediscovering these dances, these songs and Crazy for You's particular brand of screwball comedy has inspired our exceptional company to push themselves to the edge of madness," says Ms Feore. "I am blessed, thrilled and delighted to have found these most remarkably talented artists with whom to collaborate."
With music and lyrics by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin, and book by Ken Ludwig, Crazy for You was co-conceived by Ken Ludwig and Mike Ockrent. The musical was inspired by material by Guy Bolton and John McGowan, and originally produced on Broadway by Roger Horchow and Elizabeth Williams.