REVIEW: CRAZY FOR YOU @ GILLIAN LYNNE THEATRE
🎭 Crazy For You
📍 Gillian Lynne Theatre, 166 Drury Lane, London, WC2B 5PW
🗓 Saturday 29th July 2023
A SHOW THAT’S GOT RHYTHM AND A LOT OF HEART
From the moment I walked into the Gillian Lynne Theatre I felt an undeniable buzz and excitement about seeing this show. As I took my seat the anticipation grew further and something told me I was about to witness a spectacle, and this is exactly what was delivered!
Crazy for You stars the incredible Charlie Stemp as protagonist and all-round good guy Bobby Child. Stemp delivers beautiful vocals alongside superb acting skills and phenomenal dancing. He is the very definition of a triple threat and it really is a treat to witness such talent. I loved the elegantly understated way he performed They Can’t Take That Away From Me. Along with the entire audience I watched and listened in hushed awe at his sublime performance.
Crazy for You follows Bobby as he dreams of performing on the stage whilst working at a bank run by his mother. He’s sent to foreclose on a theatre in Dreadlock, Nevada where he falls in love with Polly Banks who is the daughter of the owner of the theatre. In an attempt to win her heart, he offers to put on a show to save the theatre. When a misunderstanding leads to Polly not wanting to speak to him, Bobby disguises himself as theatre impresario Bela Zangler to ensure that the show goes on and the theatre can be saved.
With catchy songs by the iconic George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin, the wonderful book by Ken Ludwig and direction and choreography by Susan Stroman this production has everything going for it. Stroman has implemented a magical work of genius in this show with her spellbinding choreography being the standout star of the show.
Act 1 closes with I Got Rhythm which is an absolute masterpiece and is probably my favourite piece on any West End stage right now. The cast are faultless and their slick timing and sheer talent bring this monumental section to life, must to the enjoyment of everyone in the audience.
This American classic has everything you could want in a production of this scale. An endearing story and dance routines that are evocative of musicals much older than it actually is. It feels like a return to traditional theatre making which has been truly embraced by the creative team.
I loved the mixture of elegance, farce and honesty that this show provides. Alongside Stemp, Tom Edden as Bella Zangler had some of the funniest scenes in the entire show. Their performance of What Causes That? was remarkable in every way and can only be described as a masterclass of performance.
Carly Anderson as Polly Baker was a revelation and competently wears the crown of a West End leading lady. Utterly believable from start to finish she lends her beautiful vocals to Somebody But Me and But Not For Me with wonderful purity. Her rendition of Embraceable You alongside Stemp was breathtaking.
The entire company were flawless but my absolutely favourite vocal performance came from Natalie Kassanga as Irene Roth. Her performance of Naughty Baby was divine and her acting glorious skills perfectly depicted Irene’s character arc in a wonderfully elegant way.
There was nothing I didn’t love about Crazy for You and I could watch this show over and over again. The choreography and production values around such tunes as Slap That Bass will stay in my memories for a long time.
Lastly, no review of this show would be complete without mentioning Sam Harrison as Eugene Fodor and Rina Fatania as Patricia Fodor who are a wonderfully comic duo with a great energy and were joyous to watch.
Crazy for You is playing at London’s Gillian Lynne Theatre until 20th January 2024 but don’t bide your time, book tickets today! There are many different websites and apps where you can get tickets so shop around to find the best deal! Rush tickets are available on the TodayTix app. I personally bought a day ticket via TKTS and had a phenomenal seat at a great price.
All views are my own and I pride myself on being honest and free from influence.
Charlie Stemp as Bobby Child; Carly Anderson as Polly Baker; Tom Edden as Bela Zangler; Natalie Kassanga as Irene Roth; Mathew Craig as Lank Hawkins; Duncan Smith as Everett Baker; Marilyn Cutts as Lottie Child; Sam Harrison as Eugene Fodor; Rita Fatania as Patricia Fodor; Kayleigh Thandani as Tess; Kate Parr as Patsy; Lila Anderson as Vera; Harriet Samuel-Gray as Sheila; Imogen Bowtell as Elaine; Laura Hills as Mitzi; Ella Valentine as Margie; Tara Yasmin as Louise; Marc Akinforlarin as Moose; Lucas Koch as Sam; Philip Bertioli as Mingo; Jason Battersby as Junior; Ryan Jupp as Wyatt; Nicholas Duncan as Jimmy; Nathan Elwick as Custus; Liam Wrate as Pete; Bradley Trevethan as Billy
RUNNING TIME (approx):
2 hours 45 minutes, including interval
This production contains theatrical smoke and haze, gun imagery and gun shot sound effects