Crazy For You; Who Could Ask For Anything More?
I found myself fortunate this Thanksgiving break to be able to check out The Players Club of Swarthmore’s production of Crazy For You. I attended opening night this past Friday to a sold out audience as all awaited the production before us. Filled with great music, unforgettable lyrics and a story no one can resist, Crazy For You at The Players Club of Swarthmore not only delivers the theatrical experience you need but one you will enjoy form beginning to end.
Crazy For You is a musical that features a book by Ken Ludwig with music and lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin. The musical, which is largely based on the Gershwin’s Girl Crazy from the 1930’s, follows the story of Bobby Child and Polly Baker as they fall in love through a series of hilarious circumstances and mistaken identities. Gershwin music, unforgettable lyrics, hilarious one liners and a story anyone in show business can relate to make for the perfect show. Crazy For You is absolutely one of my favorite shows of all time. Not only because the show is so well put together and funny but of how much one can relate to it. Especially for those of us in the theatre business, with lyrics like “I’m dancing and I can’t be bothered now” to “Nice work if you can get it and you can get it if you try”, Crazy For You is in a sense the perfect show. If one was to ask for a great example of american musical theatre, Crazy For You stands at the top of the list.
Never had before experiencing a Players Club of Swarthmore production, I was not quite sure what to expect upon attending the musical. Crazy For You is a difficult show to produce no matter where you do it so when it came to the odds a community theatre production, I was interested as to what I would find. I can truly say though after seeing this show, I was thoroughly impressed with the Players Club of Swarthmore’s production of Crazy For You. This venue, cast and creative team have all clearly dedicated themselves to this production going full out for everything. Don’t hear the words community theatre and dismiss this production. From the performers to the technical aspects, The Players Club of Swarthmore’s production of Crazy For You is a must see community production!
The Crazy For You creative team includes Brian Walsh as director and Rachel Hoke as musical director. The production uses the original Susan Stroman choreography. However, those who taught the restageed choreography for this production include Melody Chapman, Tiffany Brooke Dow, Allison Gerrard and Jeffrey Dietzler. Crazy For You is produced by Mary Leigh Filippone. Congratulations to all on a highly successful production of this show which is no ease production to put on. Really asking for theatre at its best on every level here, this creative team has helped deliver a production not only that people will enjoy but will have them coming back for more.
Kevin Dietzler, who stars as Bobby Child in the production, was clearly born to play this role. From his dancing to his singing, Dietzler is at ease through out the production never making it look difficult but still finding a way to impress the audience through out. His tapping is definitely delightful through out the show and shines when featured. One of my favorite moments of the show had to be Dietzler’s rendition of “Nice Work If You Can Get It”. Stacy Moscotti, who stars as Polly Baker in the production, is a fantastic Polly and really captures the sense of kicking butt and keeping everyone in line through out the show. However, despite her tough sense in the wild west filled with cowboys, Moscotti finds beautiful moments through out the production to show off her true character through songs like “Someone To Watch Over Me” and “But Not For Me”. Also, Dietzler and Moscotti work well as a pair as they are both heavily featured through out especially when it comes the production’s choreography.
Richard Gonzalez, who stars as Lank Hawkins in the production, is funny and furious through out. As the clearly fed up bar tender of Deadrock, Gonzalez is just about willing to do anything to end his theatre problems next door. His anger is actually funny and only gets funny as visitors stop in and out of his hotel and he finds himself strangely involved with Irene. Kat Lemon, who stars as Irene in the production, plays the clearly fed up lover of Bobby until he travels to Deadrock and everything changes. Lemon’s stage presence is so fantastic that in the first moments of the show alone, the audience worried for Bobby if he isn’t to listen to her. Lemon gets you again in Act 2 with her fantastic rendition of “Naughty Baby” which has the house rolling in tears it is so funny.
Craig Copas, who stars as Bela Zangler in the production, truly captures the sense of the sarcastic Broadway producer in all aspects. Accent down and jokes up, Copas does a fantastic job with the hilarious one liners of Zangler through out the production. Another shout out deserves to go to Allison Gerrard and Kristina Psitos who star as Tess and Patsy in the production. These two who are more of the featured showgirls are absolutely fantastic! Capturing the true sense of a show girl, they will having you laughing with their one liners but also impressed with their consist singing and dancing throughout.
The company of the production also deserves a hand for their hard work through out the show. Crazy For You packs in company numbers over and over again and this cast never appeared tired but more energized as the show continued. Their rendition of “I’ve Got Rhythm” was fantastic with full out costumes, tap dancing and all the original choreography aspects the audience loves sending us into intermission blown away. That is what we call not only an Act 1 finale but musical theatre at its finest. And that is what exactly impressed me so much about this “community theatre” production of this show. They committed to it in all aspects which is what made it so special and lovable. I mean, how often do you see community productions that have an entire chorus of tap dancing girls? Thats what I thought.
The technical aspects of the show also worked well as they used the depth of the stage to their advantage bringing down curtains and drops for smaller scenes while the larger scenes took over the stage. It was interesting how the store fronts rotated and moved around to create the inside of the bar and so on. However, sometimes this did hold back the scene changes as heavy pushing and movements were required. The only negative thing I have to say about the production is that the pit for this production didn’t do it for me. Not having that larger then life sound you imagine for a show like this, I felt as though sometimes the pit held back on stage aspects of the show. You need the instrumentals to kick butt like the production does and in this sense, it didn’t deliver for me.
So if you get the chance, check out The Players Club of Swarthmore’s production of Crazy For You! The production is play Thursday through Sunday from now until the weekend of December 17th (Closing Date)! All performances are at 8 PM except for Sunday matinees which are at 2 PM. Ticket information can be found on the website. For more information, check out The Players Club of Swarthmore’s Official Website. Thank you to Bob Colameco for his photos which we used through out this article. Don’t miss this stellar production filled with big band music, great songs, hilarious one liners and a story you just can’t resist. I mean really, “Who Could Ask For Anything More?”. Don’t miss this fantastic production running now through December!