CRAZY FOR YOU Review from Paul Gnadt of The Star Group

There is still time to get tickets to see this charming musical y’all. Only two more weekends though. Here’s another great review of this fabulous show. Read it then give us a call at 817-202-0600 to reserve.
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“Crazy For You” at Plaza Theatre Company (reviewed by Paul Gnadt of The Star Group Newspapers)
All-hands-on-deck dance numbers, George and Ira Gershwin songs that have stood the test of time and corny but clever one-liners combine for an evening of good, old-fashioned fun in “Crazy for You,” playing through Nov. 12 at the Plaza Theatre Company in Cleburne.
Great Gershwin songs are one thing, but when they’re sung by Jonathan Metting, Daron Cockerell and Burleson’s Kasi Hollowell, backed by the usual suspects at the PTC, you’re in for a musical delight.
The songs of the song writing brothers are actually from their Broadway shows of the 1920s and 1930s, pieced together in a story from a book by Ken Ludwig and largely based on the 1930 musical, “Girl Crazy,” but there are songs from several other Gershwin productions as well. “Crazy For You” opened on Broadway in 1992 and won a Tony Award for Best Musical that year.
The story is easy to follow. Reluctant New York banker Bobby Child (Metting) — whose dream is to dance on Broadway, not hoof it up the ladder of financial success — is sent by his banker-president mother to Deadrock, Nev., to foreclose on an old theater, leaving behind Irene Roth (double cast with Milette Siler and Caitlan Davis in the production I attended), who wants to marry him.
Out in desolate and dying Deadrock, Child falls in love with Polly (double cast with Cockerell and Hollowell), who is the daughter of the theater’s owner (Joshua’s Doug Henry). Child has to impersonate famous Broadway producer Bela Zangler (double cast with Andrew Barrus and Kyle Macy) in order to win her love, as well as put on a show to raise money to keep from foreclosing on the theater. When the real Zangler shows up, quickly followed by Irene, Polly figures out Child’s trickery and things really get, well, crazy.
Metting, most recently seen as Rev. Oglethorpe in “Smoke on the Mountain,” has a strong, yet mellow, voice that is perfect for the intimacy of Plaza’s 160-seat theater in the round (actually rectangle). And he can tap and ballroom dance, too, and get plenty of opportunities to do both.
Hollowell (in the performance I attended) and Cockerell can both really sing, so you’ll be treated to great renditions of “Someone to Watch Over Me,” “Embraceable You,” “I Got Rhythm,” and “But Not For Me,” regardless of who plays Polly.
But PTC’s “Crazy” is more than the music and the one-lines. It’s also about the blockbuster-type dance numbers and the come-to-be-expected-we-almost-take-it-for-granted clever and creative sets.
Example: A simple wooden arch with a sign saying “Lank’s Saloon,” is at the corner of the stage floor that is easily understood as the setting outside the saloon. As the actors walk under the stage-lighted arch and turn it around while tables are arranged on the dark stage, the sign say’s “Have a Nice Day” and the audience is suddenly inside the saloon. Quick, clever and creative. A PTC trademark.
So, too, the one-liners, such as the exchange in New York between Irene, who doesn’t want Bobby to leave, and his mother, who is sending him out west:
“He’ll go to Deadrock over my dead body!”
“That sounds like a good route to me.”
The tap dance numbers — choreographed by Courtney Sikora and Tabitha Barrus — are larger than life on the PTC floor, using all available exits and entrances as dancers leave wearing one costume and enter wearing something different.
The ballroom choreography by Rachel Hunt, who also finds time to be a member of the Follies Girls, as does Tabitha Barrus, is also outstanding as Bobby, Polly and the Follies Girls are in numerous ballroom numbers.
In addition to Barrus and Hunt, the other Follies Girls are Faith Brown, Caitlan Davis, Cessany Ford, Monica Glenn, Stefanie Glenn and Mary Vickers.
More comedy is provided by the Cowboy Trio of Josh Leblo and PTC cofounders, G. Aaron Siler and JaceSon Barrus, who combine for songs and hijinks.
Alvarado’s Luke Hunt is Lank, a rough and tumble type who falls for Polly but ends up meeting has match in Irene.
Amid all the singing and dancing, watch for a clever scene between look-a likes Childs and Zangler when, sitting at a saloon table, their actions mirror each other during about two minutes of silence.
Directed by Jay Lewis, who somehow manages to play a saloon cowboy and design the sets, with musical direction by Soni Barrus, costumes design by Tina Barrus, and light and sound design by G. Aaron Siler, “Crazy for You” is presented at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Saturdays through Nov. 12 at the Plaza Theatre, 111 S. Main St., in Cleburne.
Tickets — $15 for adults, $13 for seniors age 65 and older and students, and $12 for children age 12 and under — area available from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at the PTC box office or by calling 817-202-0600.
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