by Lorie Lewis Ham
If you are looking for a fun night at the theatre then you won’t want to miss Crazy For You, currently on stage at Roger Rocka’s Dinner Theater in Fresno. This show is filled with wonderful old Gershwin songs we all know and love! Crazy For You is a 1992 musical largely based on the Gershwin’s 1930 musical Crazy Girl, but incorporates songs from several other productions as well. It won a Tony for Best Musical in 1992.
The story revolves around Bobby Child, played by the talented Greg Grannis. Bobby’s mother and fianceé want him to have a stable job working for his mother’s bank, but all he wants to do is dance. However, the head of the famous Zangler Theatre in New York, Bella Zangler, won’t give Bobby a chance. Instead, Bobby’s mother sends him off to Deadrock, Nevada to foreclose on an old run down theatre. When Bobby arrives in Deadrock, he meets the daughter of the theatre owner, Polly Baker, played by the equally talented Emily Pessano. Bobby falls instantly head over heals for Polly, but when she finds out why he’s there she wants nothing to do with him. So Bobby devises a plan to try and save their theatre and win Polly’s heart. The show is filled with light hearted fun, love, mistaken identity, wonderful familiar Gershwin songs, big dance numbers, and lovely singing.
The villain’s of the story are Bobby’s fiancée Irene, played by Brianne Vogt, and the owner of the Deadrock saloon who would like to buy the theatre and marry Polly, Lank Hawkins, played by Greg Ruud. This pair brings us some of the funniest moments in the show. Speaking of funny, Teddy Maldonado plays Zangler, and his comic timing is perfect! Another side splitting funny moment is when he and Greg Grannis sing “What Causes That?” in identical costumes (you will have to see the show to find out why).
The music will make you smile, the dancing will blow you away (had no idea Greg Grannis could dance like that!), and you will leave the show humming one of those awesome songs. Nothing beats a Gershwin tune. In Crazy For You, you’ll hear songs like “Shall We Dance?”, “Embraceable You”, “I Got Rhythm”, and “They Can’t Take That Away From Me.” And Emily does a beautiful rendition of “But Not For Me.” Everyone in this show does a great job–including the dance girls and the singing cowboys. Another highlight for me was “I’ve Got Rhythm,” I just love those big dance numbers when they are done right, and this one was great!
So if you love a fun musical filled with awesome dancing and beautiful music, and if you just can’t help smiling when you hear a Gershwin tune, don’t miss Crazy For You! It will be on stage at Roger Rocka’s through March 15. More info on tickets can be found on their KRL event page.
Check out more local arts and entertainment articles in KRL’s A & E section.