Tuesday, 3 October 2017

“Crazy For You”
Nottingham Theatre Royal

If you like your musical theatre with high energy, high kicks and high quality entertainment, then this is the one for you to see in Nottingham all this week. You may recognise one or two of the songs from this show as well.
“Crazy For You” follows Bobby Child, who is the son of a wealthy banking family, but has a longing to hoof it up on stage. He is sent to close a theatre down in a little town called Deadrock in Nevada, which is where he meets Polly, who is the daughter of the owner of the theatre, and falls head over heels for her.
Obviously he realises that his reason for being in Deadrock isn’t going to go down well with Polly, so he presents himself as an Hungarian impresario, Bela Zangler, and decides to save the theatre by producing a show. All goes well until the real reason for his presence comes out and the real Bela Zangler appears on the scene…..
Strictly Come Dancing’s 2008 winner Tom Chambers plays Bobby and Charlotte Wakefield plays Polly.
Tom has an abundance of energy and shows off a variety of dance styles, as well as managing to sing, fool around and play the trumpet (for a brief moment). There's a great fun bit which involves him getting down from one level to the stage with the aid of just a rope. He leaps around, climbs scaffolding and goes to the moon and back to entertain, quite literally, and the audience lap this up.
Charlotte is a spunky Polly with a lovely tomboy streak, as well as a romantic side. A lovely singing voice and even though she has two Strictly winners as co stars, she holds her own in the dance stakes.
Another Strictly winner, Caroline Flack, plays Irene Roth, and makes her stage debut until the start of December 2017 when Claire Sweeney takes over as Irene. It takes a leap of faith to go from being one of the best in one field to step out in a stage musical; but she looked comfortable and natural in this debut.

Neil Ditt nailed it as Zander, the other one, and was great entertainment value.
As a dance fan and a Strictly fan, this show is right up my street and having two winners in the one show guarantees that the choreography for this show is going to be of the finest quality. Nathan M Wright’s choreography is stupendously brilliant and the "I Got Rhythm" routine was just incredible.
This is one of those musicals where many of the actors are also dancers, as well as singers and can play musical instruments. All of the music is played live on stage and normally I'm not a fan of the actors playing their instruments on stage but this time around it worked and fitted in well with the story, so it appeared natural.
An amazingly hard working ensemble tore up the stage with the choreography and music presentation.
I must mention Paul Benzing as the fight director because this is one of the few choreographed fight scenes where it not only looked real but it sounded like the actors were taking a blow to the face. Great timing from the actors involved.
The costumes were brilliant, as was the set design, both the work of Diego Patarch. Wonderful sound clarity (Tom Marshall) and the lighting design, which had great timing was designed by Howard Hudson.
Benjamin Holder is the Musical Director and brings the glory and lush quality of George and Ira Gershwin’s music and lyrics to life.
Classics like “Shall We Dance”, “Someone To Watch Over Me”, “I Got Rhythm”, “They Can’t take That Away from Me”, “Nice Work If You Can Get It”, “Embraceable You” and "Slap that Bass". the last one
being a particular highlight for me, performed by Ned Rudkins-Stow on double bass.
Directed by The Watermill’s Artistic and executive Director, Paul Hart. This is one big old Gershwin fest classic which is incredibly good fun to watch and has some lovely cheesy one line jokes.
“Crazy For You” will have you crazy for it and will have you dancing and singing out of the Nottingham Theatre Royal until Saturday 7 October 2017.

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