CRAZY FOR YOU – REVIEW – GILLIAN LYNNE THEATRE

Crazy For You is a romantic comedy musical which premiered in 1992. The show is largely based on George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin’s 1930s musical Girl Crazy, but features music from multiple productions.

Credit: Johan Persson

The show’s plot focuses on Bobby Child the son of a wealthy banking family, who has been told by his mother to go to Deadrock, Nevada to foreclose on a theatre. Instead, after falling for the only woman in the town, Polly, Bobby decides to help save the theatre by putting on a show. 

Susan Stroman’s choreography is the absolute star of this show, the production has a huge cast – and yet not a foot is misplaced throughout the entire run time. Stroman’s choreography is fun, with plenty of flair, and creates some truly show-stopping moments. The Act 1 closing number ‘I Got Rhythm’ is the epitome of what an end-of-Act number should be, it’s stylish, impressive, evokes awe and excitement, and leaves you wanting to come back for more. 

George Gershwin’s score has an almost cinematic sound at times and contains all the necessary ingredients to carefully build drama throughout. The songs are delightful earworms, expertly performed by the orchestra, the score sounds like a musical theatre classic. Ira Gershwin’s lyrics are slightly cheesy at times – although the music for this production was created in the 1930s therefore this is rather synonymous with the period.

Credit: Johan Persson

Between Beowulf Boritt’s set design and Stroman’s direction, the vast stage is utilised splendidly. The sets transport the audience between locations well with slick transitions. At times there is so much happening on stage you’re not sure where to focus your attention – with platforms and set pieces appearing and disappearing, the creative team have created a polished production which is visually stunning at all times. 

Words will not do justice to the exceptional performance Charlie Stemp gives as Bobby in this show. He’s charismatic, suave, and slick, and his footwork is perfection – who could ask for anything more? I’m sure we’ll hear his name thrown around a lot come awards season. Carly Anderson displays stunning vocals in the role of Polly, especially during ‘But Not For Me’, and her movements impress throughout. The chemistry between the pairing is wonderful and truly makes you root for the couple. The entire ensemble work in harmony throughout, executing Stroman’s choreography perfectly – the show is the most impactful and impressive when the stage is filled with the entire ensemble.

Credit: Johan Persson

My only gripes, and they’re small, is that the execution of certain moments is not as crisp as it could be – for example when Bobby cuts the rope at one point, it breaks off in a completely different place. There’s also a scene where the two female leads are pitted against each other over a man, and I worried the show was going to sustain this outdated, predictable troupe throughout the show, but thankfully it just appeared in this one scene – which could have been cut without impacting the storyline.

Crazy For You is simply sublime, this show may only be 31 years old – but it has the feel of a timeless classic. It’s funny, stunning, and heartwarming. With show-stopping choreography and probably the best performance by a leading man in London right now – it would be easy to fall in love with this show, you’ll probably even go crazy for it!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Crazy For You is on at the Gillian Lynne Theatre until the 20th January – find out more here!

{🎟 AD – PR invite – Tickets were gifted in exchange for an honest review}

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