Opening Night verdict ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Starring Strictly champion Tom Chambers alongside a fabulous Gershwin brothers score, the acclaimed Watermill Theatre production of musical comedy Crazy For You arrives at Manchester’s Opera House this week as part of a 2017/18 national tour.
Privileged New Yorker Bobby Child (Tom Chambers) has been sent to close down the theatre in deepest darkest Deadrock, Nevada. Banker Bobby however harbours a not so secret desire to tread the boards himself, cue thrills, spills and laugh out loud silliness as Bobby disguises himself as Hungarian theatre impresario Bela Zangler in order to put on a show and save the theatre.
Tom Chambers shines as Bobby Child, he has the strong physical comedy skills needed for the role as well as an impressive voice and impeccable dance ability. He bursts with charisma and boundless energy and seems to be having as much fun with the role as the audience are having watching him.
Leading lady Charlotte Wakefield as Polly is perfection. Full of sass and spark her warm characterisation is a joy to watch, she literally bursts with personality. The scenes between Wakefield and Chambers are magic, both incredibly skilled dancers they work their socks off throughout the entirety of the show.
The static set is put to good use with changing backdrops and ambient lighting, allowing scenes to change from NYC to Nevada convincingly.
Despite the 1990’s reworking of the show by Ken Ludwig the characterisation and storyline does however remain a little weak, so much so that things just seem to happen with no explanation, fiancé’s swap fiancé’s while hardened New Yorkers move to the Wild West and shack up with the local saloon owner without batting an eyelid. That said the excellent performances and big hitters such as I got rhythm and They Can’t Take That Away from Me are fantastic, all are delivered with high energy and great confidence from the cast of actor musicians.
The cast work incredibly hard, dancing one minute then playing the fiddle the next, all are enormously talented. While there may be less impact from the tap numbers due to actors doubling up as musicians the skilful multitasking roles they deliver entertain adequately.
Crown pleaser Tom Chambers delights with his charming and confident take on the character while Charlotte Wakefield delivers a confident and commanding performance any leading lady would be proud of. All in all Crazy For You is a light-hearted, uplifting and all round fun show.
On at Manchester’s Opera House until Saturday 2nd Dec, tickets available here