Crazy For You – Review
At last: chorus girls, cowboys, tap dancing and some big song and dance routines in a show to lift the spirits. The Bath Operatic and Dramatic Society returned triumphantly to the Theatre Royal Bath after a two-year Covid related absence with George and Ira Gershwin’s big song and dance show Crazy for You.
A near full house lapped up classic numbers like I Got Rhythm, K-ra-zy For You, Nice Work If You Can Get It and They Can’t Take That Away From Me, in a foot tapping finger clicking production based on a 1930s show put together in the early 1990s on Broadway. Directed by Steve Blackmore, choreographed by Annette Wilsher and music direction by Peter Blackwood this is a production that does justice to the smash hit musical revival. Crazy For You has an impressive set, superb lighting and sound plus authentic costumes including fabulous chorus girl outfits and enough feathers to clothe several birds of paradise and it’s a show that sends the audience home with a song in their heart. I can vouch for that as several people were humming I Got Rhythm as I crossed Saw Close after the show.
Arnie Richardson as protagonist Bobby Child, the banker who wants to be a stage star held the key role with aplomb, strong vocals, unbounded energy and a winning personality. He was ably supported by an exceptional Rosie May Cook as Polly Baker his love interest in Deadrock. She has the voice and personality required to knock ‘em dead – and a huge role to carry through the two-hour long show.
The story follows the fortunes of Bobby who is sent to foreclose on a theatre in the far west – only to see it as a chance to revive the establishment with a hit show. And the rest is as you might expect as the story is one of mistaken identities, unlikely romances and above all song and dance that whirls the narrative from a lively start to a rousing finale – all laced with knockabout humour.
Annabel Latham as Irene Roth was great value in her pursuit of wedding bells finally settling for Pip Knowles who enjoyed himself as Lank Hawkins and Grant McCotter as impresario Bela Zangler was also on top form. So many strong performances such as Jane Morgan as Tess, Chris Born and Julia Padfield as the travel writers checking out Deadrock’s attractions, and Huw Morgan as Everett Baker the town’s saloon keeper keen to take over the theatre for himself.
Eye catching Dave Key-Pugh’s hillbilly-esque Moose gave another big performance as did Lottie Child played by Barbara Ingeldew, with support from Finn Cunningham-Tickel as Mingo (and understudy for the lead) and Ashley Viner as Sam.
Crazy For You is essentially a revival of the spirit of those big Ziegfeld Follies productions of the 1920s and 1930s with their cast of chorus girls known as the Follies – and this production delivers those deftly choreographed sequences brilliantly using the wide stage to great effect. With several changes of costumes, great dancing and strong stage presence these big song and dance numbers make this show so memorable. The Follies are complemented by the Cowboys in Deadrock whose humour and languid body language is transformed at the mention of girls into over excited teenage boys desperate to touch a certain part of the female anatomy. An ensemble cast also included an eight strong Ensemble to complete the show and give Bath a much-needed shot of glamour, romance, comedy and showbiz. Yes, one to lift the spirits.
The show runs from 3-7 May, 2022
Tickets and info at https://www.theatreroyal.org.uk/event/crazy-for-you/
Harry Mottram is the news editor of Bath Voice monthly magazine covers news, views, reviews, previews and features as well as what’s on in Bath and events for residents in Bear Flat, Widcombe and Oldfield Park and the wider Bath area. Delivered door to door in south Bath and available in shops and supermarkets. See the Facebook site for details.
More news of Bath’s chic community in Bath Voice magazine – now out – or read online at https://issuu.com/bathvoice
For details for the work of the journalist Harry Mottram visit www.harrymottram.co.uk and follow him on all social media sites.
Instagram Freelance: https://www.instagram.com/harryfreelance/