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  • Review by john Murray

Crazy For You? Who could ask for anything more


I quote from that great song I Got Rhythm as written by George Gershwin with his brother Ira and first heard in 1930 in the musical Girl Crazy. To a degree the show of the week this week Crazy for You is based on this production, revived in 1992 by Ken Ludwig. This new touring production from Watermill Theatre brings in more classic songs from the Gershwin song

book though and the show is awash with standards like They Can’t Take That Away From Me which was from Shall We Dance (mother featured song) and nominated for an Academy Award at the 1937 Oscars. Someone To Watch Over Me and Nice Work If You Can Get It are outstanding in this production all adding to the mix.

What about the dancing? Well non finer than Tom Chambers as leading man and Strictly TV star he did have some lovely moves although they concentrated on his tap skills at the expense of couple dancing and after all this role originated on Broadway with Ginger Rogers. Tom’s sequence with Neil Ditt as they both act as Bela Zangler was both hilarious and cleverly done but for me Charlotte Wakefield as Polly stole the show. Her confident approach and vocal skills were superb and when they seamlessly merged Bobby with They Can’t Take That Away From Me into Polly’s But Not For Me this was the Tony Award winning moment. With live musicians on stage this was an added challenge yet the balance was just right throughout.

The ensemble had some magical dance moves and the showgirl glamour complemented the lady musicians in the long dresses of the day; pastel, clinging and still looking current. The cowboys looked a complete contrast in jeans and dungarees. Claire Sweeney as Irene had great stage presence and in this production underused.

From the opening clarinet of Rhapsody In Blue the magic music of Gershwin continues to amaze.

Edinburgh Playhouse till April 7

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