Crazy for You is a romantic comedy musical with a book by Ken Ludwig, lyrics by Ira Gershwin, and music by George Gershwin. First staged on Broadway in 1992, it is largely based on George and Ira Gershwin's 1930 musical Girl Crazy.
As part of the 2022 Chichester Festival, this new production had a limited summer run with direction and choreography by Susan Stroman, and it has now arrived in the West End.
It tells the (simple) story of young New York banker Bobby Child (Charlie Stemp), who is sent to Deadrock, Nevada, to foreclose on a rundown theatre. There, Bobby falls for spunky Polly Baker (Carly Anderson), the theatre owner's daughter. Will Bobby be able to win Polly's heart and save the theatre?
The show is packed with slapstick musical routines, sight gags and physical humour but, most importantly, with classic numbers (including Someone to Watch Over Me and Nice Work If You Can Get It), and Anderson sings them beautifully. She has a great sense of her character.
Charlie Stemp is one of the best actors in the West End and commands the stage with relentless enthusiasm. His fancy footwork appears as effortless as a young Fred Astaire and his boundless energy is pitched perfectly to drive this light and charming theatre piece.
The great Tom Edden has the major comic role as Bela Zangler, but all the cast are fantastic and work well together.
Crazy for You is an irresistible blend of dancing, singing and music. The choreography is inventive and passionate, a real tour de force for the two lead actors. Beowulf Boritt's sets, William Ivey Long's costumes and Ken Billington's lighting are just perfect, it feels like watching a Hollywood Golden Age musical.
This production of Crazy for You is a reminder of why musicals are so popular.
A delight from start to finish, Crazy for You is the show of the year, and it will put a big smile on your face.
Don't miss it.
It runs until 20 January 2024. Tickets from £18: here.
Photo: Johan Persson