Theater Review: ‘Crazy for You’ at the Woodlands Nancy Bock Center for Performing Arts

Fight Texas heat with a wildly silly romantic musical, accompanied by a Live Pit Orchestra, glamorous chorus girls, rarin’-to-go cowboys and an evening full of great tap-dancing to the death-defying songs of Ira and George Gershwin.

The wild joy of terrific Tony Award winning choreography and big production numbers will leave you beaming at Class Act’s thoroughly entertaining, professional production of “Crazy for You.”

IMG_7284This delightful musical, called the “New Gershwin Musical,” is a retelling of the 1930 musical “Girl Crazy.” Its book by contemporary comedic playwright Ken Ludwig opens the story in New York City’s theater district. There, we meet wannabe Broadway hoofer named Bobby Child who wants to dance for impresario Bela Zangler but instead is sent by his wealthy mother to close down a theater in the tumbleweed town of Deadrock, Nev. Bobby meets Polly and love blooms.

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Will Burke as Bobby Child and Jenny Gee as Polly Baker

So does a whole lot of dance numbers originally choreographed by Susan Stroman and restaged here by choreographer Tony Smith. The ardent enthusiasm and style of the youthful, high-kicking chorus girls and athletic, grinning cowboys are a delight all night. A look through the program quickly proves each of these young actors, already have many roles to their credit. Their professionalism shows, particularly in the big numbers. It revs up with the brilliant “I Can’t Be Bothered Now” in which Bobby is joined by a bevy of cotton candy pink clad chorus line who sweeten up the stage with…well…adorable dancing. Then there’s the ingenious “Slap that Bass” in which the chorus line are used like bass violins.

IMG_7292Bobby Childs played by William Burke, had the audience roaring with laughter, and his tap dancing was amazing. His opening solo, a combination of complicated tap moves and powerful vocals, started the show with a bang.  His ability to switch between a Nevadan accent and an Eastern European accent was also very impressive. Additionally, his role was difficult to act; Bobby is charming yet quite uncertain of his future. Not surprisingly, Burke effectively portrayed all of these emotions.

IMG_7241Jenny Gee as Polly Baker has an excellent Nevadan accent that helped establish the setting, and her many witty jokes had the audience in stitches. However, it was her spectacular singing voice that left the audience speechless. Gee has been involved with Class Act since the 2nd grade and has appeared in 17 main stage productions. Her training certainly showed during her solos. The elderly woman sitting next to me during the musical was in tears after listening to Jenny Gee who delivers a beautiful “Someone to Watch Over Me”.

 

Justin Hinton, who recently appeared as Horton in Oak Ridge High School’s “Seussical the Musical,” brings out the funny in Bela Zangler. Murphy Baker turns up the heat in her vampy dance number “Naughty Baby” in which she seduces Lank Hawkins, the local saloon owner (played by Peter McPoland)

Keith Brumfield directs this effervescent production. Great gags, especially the “mirror image” scene in the second act when Bobby, who has taken on the personna of Zangler, meets the real deal in a drunken daze.

Music director Rae Moses does his best work yet in “Crazy for You” — numbers like Embraceable You,” “Nice Work if You Can Get It” and “I Got Rhythm” sparkle with Broadway quality. Scenic designer Jonathan Shelledy creates a funny comic setting, especially for Deadrock’s saloon which grows and grows and grows as it’s brought on stage. And costume designer Dawn Baxter and Helen Sage has amassed a sweet array of looks for the cast.

DSC00949This show is fun, fun fun. If you’ve never seen “Crazy for You,” this will be a good introduction to it. It’s got verve, style and yes, it’s “got rhythm….who could ask for anything more?”

“Crazy for You” Showtimes:

  • Saturday, July 16 at 7:30pm
  • Sunday, July 17 at 2:30pm (Final Performance)

At the Nancy Bock Performing Arts Center at 3800 South Panther Creek Dr. in The Woodlands. Tickets are $30 General Admission and $27 for seniors and student and can be purchased by visiting Class Act Production Tickets .


If you have and/or know some kids in the Woodlands area who would like to pursue a career in the performing arts, Class Act Productions offers a variety of classes in performance, dance and acting. Class Act is a safe, supportive, challenging, and innovative environment where students will discover and develop their unique, creative voice. It’s a profound path to empowerment, and to unlocking their artistic potential to become the stars of tomorrow.

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