Crazy For You -Drury Lane Theatre


The New Gershwin Musical.

Music & Lyrics by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin.

Book by Ken Ludwig.

Directed & Choreographed   by Matt Crowle.

Music Direction by Roberta Duchak.

At Drury Lane Theatre, Oakbrook.

Tuneful, well-danced Gershwin musical fable entertains.

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Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook has mounted a fabulous production of  George & Ira Gershwin’s tunes,  set upon Ken Ludwig’s charming, witty and hilarious book, that becomes Crazy for You–the winner of the 1992 Tony Award for Best Musical.  Director/Choreographer Matt Crowle’s production ismanic, funny, well sung and superbly danced. It is everything one could ask in a traditional Broadway musical comedy. The Gershwin songbook propels one of the all-time best dance shows!

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In this musical fable, we meet Bobby Child (Clyde Alves, a fine rubber-legged dancer) who desires is to be a singer/dancer on Broadway. He ends up in Nevada where he falls in love with Polly Baker (Alves’ real-life wife, Robyn Hurder).  Bobby is in Nevada to foreclose on a theatre owned by Polly and her father Everett (Roger Mueller). Bobby concocts a scheme to put on a Broadway show in order to raise the money to save the theatre. But Polly realizes that Bobby is the guy sent to close the theatre, she doesn’t trust him. Bobby discusses himself as Bela Zangle, the Broadway producer in order to save the theatre and, hopefully, win Polly’s heart.

When the real Bela Zangler (Larry Adams) arrives in Nevada, Bobby’s plans get complicated. The wacky plot produces many funny moments and many glamorous show stopping numbers. From the opening “I Can’t Be Bothered Now” tap number, to the romantic “Shall We Dance” duet with Bobby and Polly, to the rhythmic “Slap That Base,” and the high-energy act ending tap anthem “I Got Rhythm,” Crazy for You delivers toe-tapping songs, belly laughs that’ ll make you smile.  Gershwin tunes such as “Someone to Watch Over Me,” “Embraceable You,” “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” and “But Not Fro Me” will tug at your heart strings.

Matt Crowle’s choreography was innovative and exuberant as he gets his dancers to tap away in six fabulous tap numbers culminating in the manic bouncy “I Get Rhythm”–one of greatest tap numbers of all-time.

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Robyn Hurder sings and dances Polly wonderfully while she delivers the Gershwin torch songs with heart. Gershwin’s standards are in good hands here. Rob Thomas, as Lank Hawkin and Erica Stephan, as Irene offered nice supporting work.

Ultimately, Crazy for You is Bobby’s show and Clyde Alves is wonderful as the charming want-to-be Broadway sings/dancer. Alves is a fabulous  dancer who effortlessly taps up a storm–while nicely landing his physical comic bits in several scenes–highlighted by the hilarious duet, “What Causes That” with Larry Adams. Both Zangler and Bobby as Zangler meet face-to-face in the bar.  They mimic each other’ s movements while singing a lament to their lost loves. Clyde Alves shows off his triple-threat talent as Bobby making his performance a most effective one!

Crazy for You is a modern take on the classical Broadway format that weaves many of the greatest songs of the 2oth Century by the Gershwin’s with outrageous humor, excellent singing and spectacular tap dancing. Crowle’s ensemble worked hard in respecting the material. Crazy for You is  a ‘must see’ musical. The sheer joy of this family friendly entertainment will have you saying: “Who could ask for anything more?” This production of Crazy for You reminds me why I love musicals. Crazy For You demonstrates the magic of Gershwin tunes as well the joys of old fashion musical comedy. It is extremely family entertainment for the holidays.

Highly Recommended.

Tom Williams

Date Reviewed: November 10, 2016.

Jeff Recommended.

For more info checkout the Crazy For You page at theatreinchicago.com.

At Drury Lane Theatre,  100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook, IL, call 630-530-0111, www.drurylanetheatre.com, tickets $45 – $60, Wednesdays at 1:30 pm, Thursdays at 1:30 & 8 pm, Fridays at 8 pm, Saturdays at 5 & 8:30 pm, Sundays at 2 & 6 pm, running time is 2 hours, 30 minutes with intermission, through January 8, 2017.

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