Award Winning Musical Is Ablaze With Crazy Corniness And Terrific Choreography
Reviewed by Tom Jones
February 9, 2024
Bobby Child is the son of a rich banking family in New York. He is a talented showbiz wannabee whose dreams of stage stardom are thwarted with a bad mistake in an early audition. His mother (fierce guardian of the family fortune) wants to exile her stagestruck son, sending him to Deadrock, Nevada, to foreclose on a rundown theater bank loan.
Looks like Bobby Child of New York might be following in the footsteps of Joseph of biblical Canaan whose brothers sent him to Egypt to get him out of the way in Candlelight’s recent “Dreamcoat” hit. Like the biblical Joseph, Bobby lands isolated in a place extremely foreign to him – going from the excitement of Manhattan to the forlorn wilderness of nowhere Nevada.
Bobby’s misfortune, however, is to the benefit of current theatergoers, as this delightful tale provides an evening of showstopping delight. Yes, it is basically a show-biz fable with the appropriate cliches of the theatrical world. But it is a wow. After the first act I realized I was experiencing the charm of naïve silliness.
Matthew Dailey and Sara Kowalski are terrific as New Yorker Bobby Child and Nevadan Polly Baker. They are both great singers and dancers. Together they dazzle. They have great opportunity to bring life to such George and Ira Gershwin songs as ”Someone to Watch Over Me,” “Embraceable You,” “You Can’t Take That Away From Me,” and join the talented ensemble to announce “I Got Rhythm.”
Candlelight continues to assemble remarkable talent. In addition to Dailey and Kowalski, Patric Case and Hugh Butterfield also shine. Case as the Broadway entrepreneur Bela Zangler and Hugh Butterfield as Lank Hawkins, a Nevada saloon owner.
Mid-way through the second act Dailey and Case are on stage together, each portraying Bela Zangler, much to the amazement of the audience trying to figure out who is who. The timing is flawless. I began to wonder if they even wondered who was who. This result is one of the most clever sequences in recent memory.
Steve Wilson has directed this stunner, with choreography by Shawna Walker, set design by Brian Watson, and Chas Lederer as assistant director. Music director and conductor is Richard Shore. The orchestra under his direction is as terrific as the performers it accompanies.
The Broadway production opened at the Shubert Threatre on February 1, 1992, and was met with excellent reviews. It went on to win the Tony Award for Best Musical that year, followed by accolades wherever it went. Curiously, “Crazy” has not continued to be an often-seen show. It was based on the Broadway review “Girl Crazy” of the 1930s, incorporating music and lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin from that show, as well as from other songs from other Gershwin shows.
Before the final curtain I began to weary. The show is nearly too good to be true and is a bit long. But in the interim the audience is treated to a wonder of excellent dancing, singing, stage set, costumes, lighting and sound. Just about everything dazzles in this evening of charming music and comedic lunacy. It has now been several hours since I left the theater, delightfully musing on what I saw!
“Crazy for You”
Through April , 2024
Candlelight Dinner Playhouse
4747 Marketplace Drive
Johnstown, CO 80534
Box Office 970/744-3747