Reviewed by Louise Edwards
If you are in the mood for a high energy romantic comedy musical then don’t miss the multi award winning Crazy for You, which is currently on at Nottingham’s Theatre Royal as part of a massive UK tour finishing in May 2018. With a star-studded cast featuring the Strictly Come Dancing winners, Tom Chambers (who is originally from Derbyshire so pretty local) as Bobby Child and Caroline Flack as his fiancée Irene Roth as well as the magnificent Charlotte Wakefield as Polly Baker you are transported back to the 1930s when America was in the depression.
Living in New York, Child is the son of a wealthy banker but his dream is really to be on Broadway and the musical opens with him hanging out at the theatre of a Hungarian theatre magnet, Bela Zangler, played by Neil Ditt, and trying to impress him with his fancy footwork. After failing the audition, and also feeling pressure from Roth to get married, he takes on an assignment from his mother to close down a debt-ridden theatre located in Black Rock, Nevada and leaves town.
Meanwhile in the forlorn town of Black Rock, the feisty Polly Baker, sole woman in town, receives a letter from the bank informing of their wish to repossess her beloved theatre which her mother once danced on. When Child sees Baker, he falls in love at first sight but realises the path to true love will not be smooth so disguises himself as Zangler saying he is there to help her save the theatre. He enlists the help of the Zangler Follies Girls who are on vacation from the theatre in an attempt to put on a show to raise the money needed. Surrounded by cowboys and stacks of testosterone they have their work cut but preparation for the show puts everyone in good spirits. We got the feeling it was going to be a bit of a “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” ending with everyone finding their mate. The first half ends as the real Zangler arrives.
Throughout the show, directed by Paul Hart, there are twenty-three memorable musical numbers performed by the leads and accompanied by the rest of the cast performing musical instruments on stage including violin, saxophone, clarinet, banjo to name just a few. Some of the on-stage musicians play up to five different instruments as well as sing and dance as well! Catherine Jayes, as musical supervisor and arrangements, does a remarkable job in pulling together some amazing talents.
The stage design moves between the theatre and the desert backdrop and at times, with so many musicians on stage can look cluttered. The story is predictable and there is plenty of slapstick, at some moments it is farcical with mistaken identity, comedy timing, heartbreak and eventually happiness. It all runs seamlessly as the audience are interactive in the final scenes as the audience of Black Rock’s show. Highlights for us were really the dancing, singing and music which is flawless and there are some incredible performances from a cast clearly having a lot of fun.
The Theatre Royal in Nottingham has undergone some massive refurbishment work, which is due to complete shortly. The tram stops right outside and there is plenty of car parking available as well as restaurants offering pre-theatre deals for dinner.
Tickets cost from £16 to £42.50 (booking fees may apply).
Crazy for You is at the Theatre Royal in Nottingham from 3-7 October 2017, for more information or to book tickets visit www.trch.co.uk or call the box office on 0115 989 5555.
Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall, Theatre Square, Nottingham, NG1 5ND | 0115 989 5555