Glamour, sequins, rousing numbers and jam packed energetic routines; Crazy For You opened its Cardiff run at the Wales Millennium Centre last night to a very receptive and excited crowd. I must admit my singing lessons as a child consisted of many Gershwin brother numbers so the familiarity of such numbers in the show brought many nostalgic feelings back.
Set between the bright lights and dreams of Broadway in New York and the desert of Nevada we encounter very different people whose world collides when they fall in love. We meet the charming Bobby Child played by the captivating Tom Chambers who is dazzled by the bright lights of Broadway and is desperate to make it but fails to impress Bela Zangler. Bobby finds himself caught between his controlling mother who wants him to follow in his banking family’s footsteps and his demanding fiancée. Sent to Deadrock , Nevada to enforce closure on a failing theatre, Bobby, falls for Polly Baker, disguises himself as the director extraordinaire Zangler, and enlists the help of the Zangler Follies girls to save the theatre by making their own show.
Chambers career at the West End has soared since he became a household name after winning Strictly Come Dancing in 2008. His natural dance flair and exceptional footwork was transfixing and his acting abilities shone in the dialogue and chemistry with his leading lady Polly Baker played by Charlotte Wakefield. Wakefield was more than capable of holding her own as a southern belle whose vocals made a powerful impact.
Special mention has to be given to Neil Ditt who played Bela Zangler who excelled in his comedic timing and mirror number with Chambers. Caroline Flack played Bobby’s self-proclaimed fiancée Irene, desperate to get him up the aisle; I did expect more of a show stopping number from a Strictly Come Dancing champion but Flack’s solo left me underwhelmed and failed to light up the stage in a way she managed to light up the ballroom.
The main highlight of the show was the live instrument performances that took place throughout the show as well as the hits of the Gershwin era – including Someone to Watch Over Me, I Got Rhythm, Embraceable You and They Can’t Take That Away From Me. Although this show has an all ages appeal I do feel that it is catered for those amongst us who have a special attachment to that era whether it be from enjoying the black and white dancing classics detailing many dancers treading the boards to be a star, or like me it is a nostalgic reminder of a time or person.
If you are looking for a toe tapping, high energy and family fun-filled evening out then Crazy for You will provide fun, laughter and entertainment for all.
Crazy For You runs until 9th September at the Wales Millennium Centre.
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