Well, the parking lot attendant called it. He said “Crazy For You” was the best Stratford had to offer this season. Wow!! Between great talent and Gershwin tunes and lyrics, I guess you just can’t go wrong.
Playing to an almost full house this evening, Stratford newcomers Natalie Daradich and Josh Franklin were dazzling as Polly Baker and Bobby Child. Together they put on a show to save the theatre. Not a new theme, but one that works with singing, dancing cowboys and some help from friends from New York, Tess (Kayla James) and her dancers and producer Bela Zangler (Tom Rooney) who pulls in an audience for the show just in time to save the theatre from the bank.
The sets were really great, both the New York part and the saloon and theatre in Deadrock, Nevada. Ken Ludwig has written a very funny play; the saloon owner doesn’t want the theatre to succeed; he’s told to invest his money somewhere else, perhaps a casino. He replies, “No-one is going to come to Nevada to gamble.” When the audience wasn’t laughing, they were stunned by the amazing choreography by Donna Feore. When Slim (Michael McClennan) is told there is good news and bad news, he asks for the bad news. “You won’t be dancing in this show.” He asks for the good news; it’s the same. So Bobby (disguised as Zangler) puts him on a string bass only to discover that he’s a natural. This starts a lengthy dance number that rocks the house: Slap That Bass!
There are lots of Gershwin greats in this production: Someone to Watch Over Me, Embraceable You, I Got Rhythm, What Causes That?, But Not For Me, Nice Work if You Can Get It and more. Eighteen in all.
Playing straight through to October 12th, you’ll have lots of opportunity to plan a Stratford visit and take in a really great show! You might want to take advantage of their Tue/Thu 2 for 1 deal for the evening performances. You might want to pair it with “Man of La Mancha”.