Thursday, 1 December 2011
I do love a good musical, and so I was delighted to be invited to go along and see a performance of Crazy for You, a new hit West End show inspired by the classic songs of George and Ira Gershwin, at the Novello Theatre earlier this week.
Crazy for You is the story of stagestruck banker Bobby who longs to dance on the Broadway stage, but instead his stern mother despatches him to a sleepy Western town in the Nevada desert to foreclose on a derelict theatre. On arrival he immediately falls for the owner’s daughter, the feisty Polly, and hatches a harebrained scheme to save the theatre and win Polly’s heart by impersonating famous impresario Zangler, and bringing the Zangler’s Follies chorus girls out West to put on a show.
All kinds of silly shenanigans ensure, especially when the real Zangler turns up with Bobby’s mother and overbearing fiancé in tow. But let’s be honest, it’s not really the story that matters here, but the fantastic, feel-good song and dance routines. Toe-tapping Gershwin favourites like I Got Rhythm, Someone to Watch Over Me and Nice Work if You Can Get It are used to excellent effect with delightful choreography from Stephen Mear. This is a true old-fashioned musical in glittering 1930s style, complete with high-kicking showgirls in glamorous outfits, vaudeville-style comedy routines, a tap-dancing hero and a romantic finish. The gilt interior of the Novello theatre makes an ideal setting for this gleefully escapist and nostalgic production.
Joyous and relentlessly upbeat, Crazy for You seems like the perfect antidote to ‘politics and axes taxes and people grinding axes’ of recent weeks - as the Gershwin number goes. If silly jokes and sparkles are your thing, then I can heartily recommend this as the perfect festive treat… and I know that I for one will be singing I Got Rhythm (and tapping the odd toe) for the rest of the week.