by Claire DeMarco
Rich kid Bobby Child (Chad Elder) has been constantly pushed by his mother Lottie Child (Amy Lynn Bonner) to pursue the family’s banking business.
Bobby has other ideas. He loves to dance and has dreams of a vaudeville career. It’s unfortunate that he’s not quite good enough and is rejected at an audition by producer Bela Zangler (Dominic Bell). His family, intent that he drops his theater pursuits and embrace the banking business, send him off to Deadrock, Nevada. On behalf of his family’s bank, Child’s assignment is to foreclose on the town’s theater.
Leaving nagging and annoying fiancé Irene Roth (Sarah Hennesy) behind Bobby heads to this small town of Deadrock in the middle of nowhere.
Soon after arriving in Deadrock, Bobby meets Polly and immediately is smitten. Not initially divulging his name or the reason for his visit, he decides to save the theater, raising money by presenting a fundraising event.
When Polly discovers Bobby’s duplicity, she wants nothing to do with him. Bobby, intent on winning Polly back and still having a fundraiser to save the theatre, disguises himself and successfully fools both Polly and the town (for a time, that is).
Bobby’s false identity is unmasked, unraveling another scenario of problems and miscues.
Is there a happy ending? Do Bobby and Polly reconcile? Is the theater saved?
Spoiler Alert: Yes, yes, yes!
“Crazy for You” is a 1992 production based on the 1930’s Gershwin musical “Girl Crazy.” This 1992 production includes songs from the original show plus tunes from other Gershwin projects. The songs are almost 100 years old, and it is refreshing to think that some younger members of the audience may be hearing them for the first time (and hopefully not the last).
Elder is outstanding as the naïve rich kid. In almost quasi-slapstick style, he treats us to a myriad of near missteps when he overkills his audition to a total gymnastic collapse as he arrives in Deadrock. Attempting to conceal his identity he easily transitions into a New York producer with an effective European accent. Elder also sings and dances throughout the show and his rendition of “They Can’t Take That Away from Me” spotlights his singing talent.
After a ten-year stage hiatus, Smith comes roaring back as the sometimes tough yet tender postmistress of Deadrock. Gershwin songs are wonderful to begin with, but they’re even better when sung by Smith. What a voice! Special favorites are “Someone to Watch Over Me, “I Got Rhythm” and “But Not For Me.” And she taps, too! (Note: I’m envious).
Bell is engaging as the lecherous, foreign Zangler. He is especially effective with Elder in their perfectly timed chameleon antics, mimicking one another’s movements and facial expressions. His European accent is effective.
Hennesy carries her annoying character’s personality to Deadrock. She softens her to a less pushy person as Irene surprisingly adapts to life in the West.
Jeff Way (Bingo), Adam Richardson (Moose) and Zachary Holderbaum (Sam) also known as the Cowboy Trio deliver a super rendition of “Bidin My Time”.
Stage 62’s production of “Crazy for You” is pure entertainment. What a great cast!
Music Director Andrew Peters and his orchestra are superb.
Shout out to Choreographer Cara McClaine.
Excellent direction by Art DeConcilius.
“Crazy for You” is a production of Stage 62 and is presented at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall, 300 Beechwood Avenue, Carnegie, PA 15106. Performances run from November 9th through November 19th. For more information, click here.