Review: Crazy For You, Edinburgh Playhouse

You don’t need to know the name Gershwin to be familiar with ​their memorable ​songs ​dating back to the early 20th century.

In fact, chances are you’ll probably know the words and recognise ​a number of the score​s written by the Gershwin brothers, George and Ira, who remain one of the most renowned songwriting duos in history.

The legendary Jazz Age composers produced some of the greatest musicals of all time, including Funny Girl, Shall We Dance, An American In Paris, and, of course, Crazy For You.

The legacy lives on for a new generation, though, and Crazy For You​ ​is bringing all the razzmatazz of 1920s America to Edinburgh’s Playhouse Theatre.​

Crazy For You tells the romantic tale of well-to-do New York banker Bobby Child (played by Holby City/Casualty star Tom Chambers), who is sent to Deadlock Nevada to take possession of a failing family-run theatre. But when the local postmistress Polly Baker (played by the excellent Charlotte Wakefield) catches Bobby’s eye, he decides to produce a show to save the theatre. Claire Sweeney also takes a leading role as Irene Roth, Bobby’s fiancée.

Opening with the iconic Rhapsody In Blue, Crazy For You brings some of the Gershwin​s’ finest work to the stage, including Shall We Dance?, Embraceable You, Nice Work If You Can Get It and Things Are Looking Up.

Chambers delivers a natural performance as the tap dancing businessman and shows just why he won series six of Strictly Come Dancing with his fleet-footed moves. Vocally, he puts on a strong performance and his rendition of They Can’t Take That Away From Me made him truly shine as a star of the stage.

But it’s co-star Wakefield who really steals the show. ​Her portrayal of feisty heroine Polly​ dominates every scene she’s in and her delivery of But Not For Me proves just why she was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical.​

​Like the rest of the Gershwins’ musicals, ​Crazy For You is a​ real class act​ production that will no doubt provide a toe-tapping, jazz-hand-waving good time.

Words: Aimee Stanton

Leave a Comment