Gershwin, glamour, glitz, great – just a few of the words which describe Earlston High School’s production of Crazy For You.
This musical comedy is set in the 1930s and tells the story of a young stage-struck boy from New York, Bobby Child, who is also the rich son of a banking family. He has been engaged to Irene for five years and is sent by his domineering mother to a small town, Deadrock in Nevada, to close its theatre. There, he falls in love with the theatre owner’s daughter, Polly Baker, and comes up with a plan of putting on a show to pay off the mortgage, thus saving the theatre. Despite a few hiccups and hurdles along the way, his dream is realised, the theatre is saved and Bobby gets his girl. The music for this show was composed by George Gershwin, some of the more familiar songs being, I Got Rhythm, Someone To Watch Over Me, Embraceable You and They Can’t Take That Away From Me. The music lends itself to some fabulous dance routines, including tap dancing on trays.
From start to finish the stage is filled with smiles, sparkle, energy, colour, superb dancing and excellent singing.
The main character, Bobby Child, who has some very funny one-liners to deliver, was played brilliantly by Murray Nairn – handsome, cavalier, cheeky, with a very rich strong voice which excelled in You Can’t Take That Away From Me.
Meantime, the girl of his dreams, Polly Baker, was portrayed to perfection by Kirsty MacDonald. Kirsty sang and danced her way through the show.
Her versatility was demonstrated in such numbers as I Got Rhythm – which she certainly had – in which her dancing ability was highlighted and, of course, her beautiful voice came to the fore in Someone To Watch Over Me and the delightful duet with Bobby, Embraceable You.
Everyone played their part with maturity and enthusiasm, in particular, Zoe Most who was cast as the seductive, forceful Irene and she excelled in Naughty Baby where she turns her attentions to Lank Hawkins who wants to buy the theatre. Lank is the Mr Grumpy of the show and is played very convincingly by Campbell Donaldson. Irene and Lank end up marrying.
Bela Zangler, the owner of the Zangler Theatre in New York, has an eye for the girls, although married. Elliot Douglas, with his wonderful Hungarian accent and a twinkle in his eye provides much of the comedy, and his duet with Bobby, What Causes That, in which Bobby is impersonating Mr Zangler, is hilarious.
However, the best laughs were provided by Callum Love and Holly Young as Eugene and Patricia Foder. Their portrayal of British tourists in their safari suits with their stiff upper lip attitude even had the rest of the cast in stitches. Grace Gilbert was the scary, domineering mother of Bobby, although she softened in the end and even ended up finding love in the West.
The Zangler Follies, a bunch of very talented young females, provide the glamour and pizzazz with their fabulous dancing and gorgeous smiles, and Bex Winsland seemed to relish the role of the scatterbrained but loveable Patsy.
Harry Keightley was the very distinguished looking Everett Baker, Polly’s dad, who owns the theatre and dreams about the days when his wife starred on the stage, and Caroline Turner as Tess, the dance director keeps everyone on their toes, even Mr Zangler.
To complement the Follies, the cowboys were also very talented and after some dance tuition from Patsy they were certainly put to the test with some very intricate dance steps and difficult songs, but they came through with flying colours.
The highlights of the show were the two fantastic song and dance numbers, Slap That Bass and I Got Rhythm, which involved everyone and showed the wealth of talent that continues to flourish at Earlston High School. The costumes were also fabulous and enhanced an already magnificent show.
Once again, this very successful show was under the direction of Mr Jeff Thomson whose attention to detail is amazing – colour co-ordination, costumes, wonderful set, great singing and, of course, an excellent orchestra.
He has an army of people always willing to help him achieve his goal, so well done to all of them – choreographers for some fantastic dancing, costume and make-up team, props, stage crew, sound and lighting – who all worked together to produce a very professional, slick show which culminated in a spectacular finale. Well done Earlston High School, the whole audience was just Crazy For You.