Muddy must-see: Crazy for You
If you’ve been feeling a bit down lately, maybe a tad stressed, or snappy with the kids… the best medicine I can possibly prescribe is to get yourself to The Watermill Theatre and take a massive dose of Crazy for You. It is without doubt the most joyful production I have ever seen, and I’m still smiling days later.
I took my sister to the press show and we both absolutely flipping loved it. Even though my sister was a little reticent at first, not being a massive musical fan, within about 15 minutes I took a little sidelong glance and could see that she was swept up as much as I was. Foot tapping? Check. Shoulders swaying? Check. Ridiculous grin on her face? Check. She was a bona fide musical convert.
If you don’t know it, Crazy for You is a romantic musical comedy filled with plot twists, mistaken identity, fab choreography and stunning music by Gershwin. It follows the troubled love story of Bobby son of a wealthy New York banking family and frustrated Broadway hoofer, and Polly, daughter of the proprietor of a failing theatre in Deadrock, Nevada. Sent to close the theatre down, Bobby falls for Polly and, in the guise of a Hungarian impresario, decides to save the theatre by putting on a show. Bonkers. But roll with it.
You’ll definitely know some of the numbers – I’ve Got Rhythm; Someone to Watch Over Me; They Can’t Take That Away From Me; Nice Work If You Can Get It… It’s one of those productions that just entirely fills every single atom of the theatre with Hollywood glamour, colour, style and PIZAZZZ! You can almost imagine the old school director with his megaphone bellowing: ‘fabulous my darlings! You were all divine!’.
Tom Chambers (former Holby City Hottie and Strictly Crumpet) is absolutely brilliant as the lead Bobby – charming, funny (his comedy timing is spot on), great actor (obviously) and flipping heck, he can sing too! But it’s his dancing and the energy he puts into the role that is just so wonderful to watch. He is like a giddy little school boy, clearly loving every second on stage… and off stage too, as there is a lot of clambering about, hanging from the rafters (boy did he sweat!). I’ll admit on several occasions I was praying he might fall into my lap – that is some audience participation I could really get on board with.
Caroline Sheen who plays Polly is quite simply incredible. That VOICE. I was quite teary when she sang ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’. She just makes it all look so effortless – and she’s so watchable, and sweet and funny and her and TC have such great chemistry. One of my all time favourite musical actresses is Doris Day, having spent many a duvet day watching her old black and whites, and she really did remind me of her – that ability to be a beautiful leading lady but still be ballsy and funny, oh and by the way just act, sing, play instruments and dance amazingly well too. Wowzers.
Every single member of the cast is an absolute class act. Seriously. What an amazing array of talent. Trying to pick out strengths is virtually impossible because whether they were dancing, acting, singing, or playing an instrument – they all shone at everything. It was slightly mind-blowing. I wish actors who brave musical theatre would get more credit, especially when they are at this kind of standard. The West End basically just landed in Newbury.
Crazy for You is on at The Watermill until Saturday 17 Sept and I couldn’t recommend it more. While you have a chance to still choose your days, take it – this is going to be a sell-out.
The Watermill Theatre, Bagnor, Newbury RG20 8AE. Box Office: 01635 46044. www.watermill.org.uk