Review: CRAZY FOR YOU at Asolo Repertory Theatre

By: Nov. 23, 2023
Review: CRAZY FOR YOU at Asolo Repertory Theatre
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Without a doubt we anticipate greatness from this theatre's season opener and they did not disappoint! The Gershwin Brother’s music weaves this Tony Award winning romantic comedy put together by Ken Ludwig and Mike Ockrent. Opening at the Schubert Theater in 1992 it ran for close to 1700 performances over the next four years! Combining music, dancing, humor and the love of theater, this show stunned when it first appeared in the early 90’s, as it does in Sarasota today.

While the basics of this love story have been told many times over, it is in the presentation and fabricating of this tale that we hear it again with fresh ears, and let us not forget a feast for the eyes! Bobby Child, the son of a rich New York banking family, just wants to be on stage and sing and dance, but is about to be cut off from his allowance if he does not go take care of some family business. This business happens to be the closing of a failing theater in Deadrock, Nevada. It is here that he falls in love at first sight with Polly Baker, whose family happens to own said failing theater. From here and through well known favorites like “Shall We Dance?”, “Someone to Watch Over Me”, and “I Got Rhythm”, we already know how this story is going to go. Sprinkled with mishaps of crossed love-interests, impersonations, mistaken identities, and lots of meddling Bobby ends up on stage, Polly’s theater is saved, and everyone falls in love with the right person.

Daniel Plimpton and Sara Esty are cast perfectly in the two lead roles of Bobby and Polly. Daniel’s natural state seems to be dancing and his joyfulness exudes as he dances solo as well as paired with Sara’s tremendous gracefulness . It is obvious seeing both of them on stage that they have dedicated their lives to the study of art and earned the expertise it takes to ooze such ease in movement. On top of this, while they are athletically dancing, they are belting out in vigorous singing! It is hard to say which was better, the singing or the dancing. While this is particularly applicable to the leads in this show, the entire company absolutely deserves equal praise.

Pulling all this together is a marvel of costumes, designed by Eduardo Sicangco and David M. Covach. They managed to create a mood with bright and dazzling colors in New York, drab browns in Nevada and by the end a blend of the two. There are smashing costume changes on the stage and the final scene was nothing short of the apex of a celebratory fireworks show. It was breathtaking and so joyful there was not a dry eye among us! I saw many attendees openly dancing and singing their way out of the theater!

The combination of familiar delightful music and the infectious genuine smiles of the cast was nothing short of heart lifting. At it’s heart this is a love story about how music, dancing and theater can not only make a life great, but better beyond imagining.

Crazy for you is running at the Asolo Repertory Theatre through January 4th. Tickets are still available for evening and matinee shows.  Located at 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota FL 34243.