Entertainment » Theatre

Crazy for You

by Drew Jackson
Friday Nov 23, 2012
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Sam Beasley plays Bobby Child in ’Crazy for You’
Sam Beasley plays Bobby Child in ’Crazy for You’  (Source:Jeffrey Schmidt)

"Crazy For You," the 1992 award winning musical that opened Monday night at Theatre 3 is a toe-tapping high-spirited romp through the 1930s featuring show-stopping choreography by both Director/Co-choreographer Michael Serrecchia and Megan Kelly Bates. Together they put their game talented troupe of hoofers through insanely clever and energetic moves.

"Crazy For You" also features the gorgeous, lush music and lyrics of two of America’s greatest composers and lyricists: brothers George and Ira Gershwin and including such standards as "Someone to Watch Over Me," "Embraceable You," "I Got Rhythm," "Nice Work If You Can Get It" and many more.

One would think this combination would make for a top-notch musical production and if it were a revue, say in the way "Fosse" celebrated the legendary work of dancer/choreographer/director Bob Fosse, "Crazy For You" would be the best show in town.

Unfortunately, the show has a thin as a tissue book written by Ken Ludwig. While the plot is nearly negligible in terms of story it serves as obstacles that one has to maddeningly muddle through until the show gets to the next great song or production number.

Two highlights though are Brian Hathaway and Whitney Hennen. Hathaway delights as show producer Zangler. Hennen pleases (as always) as the showgirl Patsy.

"Crazy For You" has always been a Frankenstein of a musical. Based on the Gershwin’s own 1930 musical "Girl Crazy," the show has been translated to film three times before coming full circle back to the stage. Each version has cut songs and numbers and added ones from other Gershwin works while keeping the essence of the story intact. In other words, "Crazy For You" not only pays homage to the stage and film musicals of the 1930, it also narcissistically pays homage to itself.

You already know the story. Girl meets boy. Girl falls for a different guy. Something important needs to be saved and the boy and girl decide to ’put on a show.’ Boy gets girl and lives happily ever after. If this sounds like one of the countless plots of Judy Garland-Mickey Rooney movies, that’s because one of the movies, 1947’s "Girl Crazy" is one of the iterations that resulted in "Crazy For You."

Because of the above and in addition to all the above, Theatre 3’s "Crazy For You" doesn’t offer much beyond the phenomenal dancing of the leads and chorus.

Two highlights though are Brian Hathaway and Whitney Hennen. Hathaway delights as show producer Zangler. Hennen pleases (as always) as the showgirl Patsy. And the Looney Tunes type sets of David Walsh are colorfully cheery and fun.

Sam Beasley and Emily Lockhart play the leads. Beasley plays Bobby (the boy). He’s a super dancer and a PYT to boot, but he knows it, hamming up every number with a ’look at me’ grin. Lockhart plays Polly (the girl) and is an even better singer and dancer than Beasley. Unfortunately, the two have no chemistry together and their scenes together fall flat.

"Crazy For You" runs through Dec. 15 at Theatre3, 2800 Routh Street in Dallas. For info or tickets, call 214-871-3300 or visit www.theatre3dallas.com

Drew Jackson was born in Brooklyn and has been writing ever since he graduated from NYC. He now lives in Dallas happily married to his husband Hugh. Jackson is a familiar fixture on the Dallas Forth Worth theater scene and is currently working on his next play.

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