Monday, June 30, 2014

Crazy For You. At the Stratford Festival, Stratford, Ontario.

     Crazy For You. At the Stratford Festival, Stratford, Ontario. D: Donna Feore.  With Josh Franklin, Natalie Daradich, Tom Rooney, et al. Well done. I first saw this musical as a Great Performance special on PBS. Loved it, and so had to see this version. Well worth the trip (600 or km from home) and the price.
     The story is of course as silly as any Broadway Musical: Bobby Child is heir to a fortune doesn’t want to work in the bank, doesn’t want to marry Irene, wants to sing and dance and act in a Bela Zangler show. His mother sends him to Deadrock, Nevada, to foreclose the mortgage on a theatre that hasn’t seen a show in many years and has been made into a Post Office. He falls for the owner’s daughter, but has to impersonate Bela Zangler before she pays attention to him. And from there, things get more and more implausible, but the acting (great comic timing), the writing, the dancing, the music, and the ingenious (and yet surprisingly unintrusive) set designs carry you triumphantly to the proper end of a musical comedy: the hero and heroine get married, and a bunch of others pair off, too.
     The play was written by Ken Ludwig around a number of Ira Gershwin and Irving Berlin songs, the plot loosely based on their Girl Crazy. For more about it see
     It’s modern version of the traditional Broadway Musical, and it’s a success in every way. This version satisfied my desire for a retro show, and demonstrated that Stratford can do musicals as well as anybody. ****

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