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“Charming and nostalgic” – Reviewing Crazy for You at Hull New Theatre

Last night I attended the opening night for Hessle Theatre Company’s production of Crazy for You. Even having seen the recent West End production (starring Charlie Stemp), this production did not disappoint.

The story unfolds with Bobby Child (portrayed with flair by Ben Bailey), a young banker with dreams of performing on Broadway, who finds himself swept away to the sleepy town of Deadrock, Nevada. There, he encounters the spirited Polly Baker (captivatingly played by Elinor Kirby), the daughter of the town’s theatre owner. In an effort to save the failing theatre, Bobby masquerades as theatre impresario Bela Zangler (brought to life by Ian Appleyard) and sets out to put on a show, all while falling head over heels for Polly.

The set design is brilliant, with vibrant backdrops transporting the audience from the bustling streets of New York City to the dusty plains of Deadrock. Each scene is meticulously crafted, evoking the charm and nostalgia of the 1930s American West.

Hessle Theatre Company also had fantastic costumes; a captivating blend of 1930s glamour and rustic charm, expertly crafted to bring each character to life and transport the audience to the vibrant worlds of New York City and Deadrock. With meticulous attention to detail and period-appropriate designs, the costumes enhance the authenticity of the production and add depth to the characters, contributing to the overall enchantment of the show.

The music of “Crazy for You” is a toe-tapping blend of classic Broadway tunes, featuring memorable hits such as “Slap That Bass”, “I Got Rhythm,” “Someone to Watch Over Me,” and “Embraceable You.” Under the musical direction of Sarah Lucy Penny, every number is delivered with energy, leaving the audience humming along long after the final curtain.

Ben Bailey shines as the charismatic Bobby Child, showcasing impressive vocals and nimble footwork in equal measure, and although there were a few audio issues in the first act this was resolved for the second. Elinor Kirby brings warmth and depth to the role of Polly Baker, infusing her character with both strength and vulnerability. Ian Appleyard delivers a standout performance as the lovably bumbling Bela Zangler, eliciting laughs with his impeccable comedic timing. The scene with Bobby and Bela prior to “What Causes That?” was executed brilliantly.

Supporting cast members, including Georgia Wormald as the glamorous Irene Roth and Richard Foot as the antagonistic Lank Hawkins, round out the ensemble with skill and gusto, adding layers of humour and heart to the production.

But beyond the glitz and glamour, “Crazy for You” is a story about following your passion, taking risks, and finding love in unexpected places. It’s a joyful celebration of music, dance, and the transformative power of the theatre, guaranteed to leave audiences tapping their toes and smiling from ear to ear (my toes did not stop tapping!)

So grab your dancing shoes and join the Hessle Theatre Company for a night of laughter, romance, and unforgettable entertainment – “Crazy for You” is a showcase of local talent which is not one to miss!

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