Rating: *****

Novello Theatre, London (2011)

Summary: Joyous reworking of Gershwin based musical comedy

Having spent a few years addicted to Ella Fitzgerald’s ‘The Gershwin Songbook’ album, a musical based around many of these songs filled me with joy and dread. Joy, of course, to hear and hear these songs performed live, but dread for the fear of competing with my love for Ella’s unique (and unmatched) interpretations. I needn’t have worried.

Crazy for you is a show that harks back to the classic MGM musicals of the 40’s and 50’s; think Calamity Jane crossed with Singing in the Rain and you’re close to the story and feel of Crazy For You. A young man, desperate to act on the broadway stage is forced into his parents banking business. An opportunity arises one day for him to go and foreclose a theatre in the wilds of Nevada. Instead of closing the theatre down, he falls madly in love with the owner’s daughter and helps to stage a show to fend off the foreclosure.

There’s some twists and turns in the story; true love doesn’t run smoothly in this tale, but I’ll save you the joys of experiencing that for yourself. The story is not the most adventurous, but it’s simple and ripe for good comedy, of which this show has a great deal of.

The choreography is wonderful and coupled with Gershwins tunes, it’s a delight to watch… a near 20 minute routine of ‘I got rhythm’ leaves you, literally, breathless. You can help leave the theatre with a smile on your face, a tune on your lips and a rather joyous spring in your step.


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