"CRAZY FOR YOU" by Greasepaint Productions
Loughborough Town Hall
Also known as the New Gershwin Musical Comedy because of the songs being from the collective pens of Ira and George Gershwin. It's the story of Bobby Child, the rich son from a banking family, who is told by his mother to go and close down a theatre in Deadrock, Nevada because the mortgage was not up to date. Bobby is a singer/dancer who is chasing his big break in the theatre, and closing down the theatre is the last thing on his mind, especially after he meets Polly, the daughter of the Gaiety Theatre owner, Everett.
Polly rejects Bobby's advances, so to show her that he is not the bad guy she thinks he is, he decides to put on a show to save the theatre, the town and his infatuation for Polly. Bobby has been trying to impress theatre impresario Bela Zangler and so decides that to impress Polly he would trick her into thinking they were friends and sets about a cunning plan to do this by pretending to be Zangler. The only problem is, Polly then falls for Zangler who is really Bobby, and when the real Zangler turns up, all mayhem ensues. there are also several other intertwined love interests in the background as well which are fun to watch develop.
James Nelson is our leading man and hero of the piece and shows his nifty footwork skills off with some handy hoofing. If you remember James from "Ghost" a few weeks back at the same venue, you'll already know what a wonderful voice he has, and with this show, he puts both his singing and dancing abilities to great use. James is engaging and is totally believable as the lovelorn Bobby.
James swaps Molly from "Ghost" for Polly in "Crazy" and paired with James, Charlotte Dolling makes a wonderful leading male and female duo. Polly is spunky and feisty as well as being incredibly loyal to her father and the theatre, and is not going to allow Bobby to take away the theatre that her mother performed in. Charlotte has a gorgeous voice that sends a shiver up your spine when she sings the classics "Someone To Watch Over Me" and "But Not For Me". Beautiful vocal control over those long notes as well.
There's a classic comedy scene when Bobby, dressed as Zangler, and Zangler, played by Gareth Wynne, meet up in the bar, which is classic Hollywood style comedy. Timing is of the utmost with this scene and it brings a great response from the audience.
Shane Perry is also well cast as the hotel owner, Lank Hawkins, who is totally against the theatre being kept open because he wants it for his own devices, to extend his hotel business. he also is against Bobby from day one as Polly is also the apple of Lank's eye.
A talented large ensemble and supporting cast with some excellent, sometimes complex, dance sections, choreographed by Tania Hutchinson and directed with real passion by Shane Perry.
A score that is bursting with well known, and loved songs. Songs like "Embraceable You", "I Got Rhythm", "They Can't Take That Away from Me" and "Nice Work If You Can Get It" and an amazing orchestra under direction from James Stevens. And not forgetting those wonderful costumes!
There were a couple of lighting issues where the spotlight seemed to be missing off of Bobby and some of the cast and the one occasion when there seemed to be just a tad too long left with nothing happening on stage, I spoke to James Nelson after the show and he said that they only had a limited time available in the theatre before tonight, which I expect if more time had been made available these couple of very minor things would have been worked out. But Tuesday was opening night and I know that this technical kind of issue is easily tweaked and tightened up, so if you go and see the show I doubt that you'll even see this.
The theatre was by no means busy which is a real shame because this is a top notch show, and I can only feel that maybe it might have been affected by recent reviews in a local Loughborough paper of a previous show, or the time of year, or that it may be pay day coming up. Whatever the reason, and we can speculate all day long, it's so important to support local theatre and local theatre groups whenever possible, especially when the standard of production is as high as the productions I've had the pleasure of seeing this year at Loughborough Town Hall. These actors give everything for the love of performing, so please support them.
"Crazy For You" is on at Loughborough Town hall until Saturday 23 May 2015.