Entertainment | Theatre Review: Crazy For You @ The Lyceum, Sheffield

Crazy For You tells the story of Bobby Child (Tom Chambers) who, shoved into working for his mother's bank, is sent from glamorous New York to Deadrock, Nevada to foreclose on a rundown theatre. However, finding himself falling in love with the theatre owner's daughter becomes problematic when she realises what brought him to Deadrock. What follows is a Shakespeare-like tale of mistaken identities with a predictable, yet fun, romantic plot. Rather a pastiche of an older, golden age of Broadway, Crazy For You is gorgeously put together by a hugely talented cast and crew.

There's no doubt that this show's chorus were one of the most talented I've ever seen, seamlessly switching between playing musical instruments live on-stage, dancing wonderful choreography and acting their respective characters with perfect delivery of both comic and serious lines.

Crazy For You has the charm of its songs being taken from earlier Gershwin works in the 1930s, coupled with the musical actually being released in the 1990s making for some semblance of strong female characters. Nathan M. Wright and Claira Vaughan's choreography was particularly atune to this, with dance numbers between Chambers and Wakefield being gender-balanced rather than predominantly led by the man, as well as Irene's (Hollie Cassar - standing in for Caroline Flack) Naughty Baby having her lead whilst the men acted as back-up dancers.

Tom Chambers did a fantastic job as Bobby and I really couldn't take my eyes off him whenever he was on stage: to play something of a shrinking violet and yet maintain such an impeccable stage presence is rather an impressive feat. He tap danced wonderfully, managing to maintain his character's personality even in the midst of all that highly technical footwork, whilst his physical and verbal comedy were delivered with such wit and precision.

Charlotte Wakefield of course treated us to absolutely stunning vocals and yet more beautiful dancing. She nailed the strength and sass of Polly whilst also leaving room for believable vulnerability, giving us a wonderfully rounded iteration of the character. Honourable mentions must go to Ned Rudkins-Stow as Moose and Seren Sandham-Davies as Patsy, both of whom really stood out to me as very talented performers for reasons I can't quite put my finger on.

Whilst, for shame, I don't often pay enough attention to the production team, Crazy For You particularly impressed me beyond the wonderful cast. Diego Pitarch's set design of a theatre within a theatre was absolutely stunning, whilst the backdrops although simple really went a long way in transporting the audience from New York to Nevada and back again. Howard Hudson's lighting design and Tom Marshall's sound design were both brilliant and added so much to the show's old-school Broadway charm. Pitarch's costume design, too, consisted of some absolutely gorgeous outfits that I'd really like to borrow if they're going spare at all. No? Okay...

Crazy For You is currently touring the UK and dates can be found here.

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