Crazy For You – Review – Bradford Alhambra
By @Steve Crabtree, April 2018
The UK tour of the musical Crazy for You reached Bradford this week, as the Alhambra Theatre hosts the Paul Hart directed Gershwin comedy.
With a cast including Tom Chambers and Claire Sweeney, the audience are looking forward to a show that claims to be high energy, high-kicking and gloriously glamorous.
And the signs of that are there early doors. We open with the number ‘K-ra-zy For You’ by young banker, Bobby Child (Chambers). As he glides and taps himself round the stage, he dreams of a life of treading the boards, but after being made to choose between his fiancé (Sweeney) or being sent to close down a theatre in a one-horse town in Dead Rock, Nevada. He opts for the latter.
But when he arrives at Dead Rock, things change and the story line starts to shape up.
“Downtown New York”
The downtown New York setting cleverly changes to and from that of Dead Rock quickly and simply, and it’s a set worthy of a large production. As dance routines smother the stage, atmospheric lighting transcends almost un-noticebly to create some beautiful settings, complementing the dance.
We’ve got a great show, which everyone seems to be enjoying, myself included. I (shamefully) didn’t know much about Crazy For You before I arrived. But we’ve got a love story developing, lots of comedy, plus catchy number after catchy number, which just makes you wish you’d brought along your dancing shoes.
Polly becomes the subject of Child’s affections when he arrives in Nevada. And he does all he can to win her heart.
The evening belongs to the superb Charlotte Wakefield who plays Polly. Her West End-worthy vocals, feisty, yet warm portrayal of the country girl delights the audience. That’s before we even mention her exceptional dancing and bright personality.
The famous score of unforgettable Gershwin songs enhances the feel-good mood in the Alhambra as well. ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’, ‘I’ve Got Rhythm’ and ‘Slap that Bass’ go down well. As do ‘But Not for Me’, ‘I Can’t Be Bothered Now’ and ‘Nice Work If You Can Get It’.
“Musical comedy at its biggest and best”
With a busy stage for the majority of the show, a special mention needs to go out for Ned Rudkins-Stow and Seren Sandham-Davis. Their portrayals of Moose and Patsy add even more injections of laughter to the show, and they both show off fantastic instrumental talents too.
The entire cast are worth praise though. The majority of them play live instruments during the songs; and to be able to act, dance, sing and play a trumpet, trombone or violin all at once can’t be an easy feat. But to them, it’s a breeze.
It’s certainly a show that lives up to it’s billing. Crazy for You is musical comedy at its biggest and best. A not-too-testing storyline, that’s full of songs and dance routines that make you smile. As we leave The Alhambra, people are singing ‘I’ve Got Rhythm’ – it just sticks in your head.
I came in with no expectations, but I leave knowing I’ll be remembering this show, the songs and those performing for a long time.
You could say I’ve really enjoyed Crazy For You. Who can ask for anything more?
Images: Richard Davenport