Review by Malcolm Galloway
Crazy For You, Ripon Amateur Operatic Society, Harrogate Theatre
It was fitting that the RAOS should have chosen to perform Gershwin’s romantic musical, Crazy for You, as part of their own 75th anniversary celebrations.
This musical contains some of the best songs that Gershwin composed, taken from various musicals by him and woven into a successful and entertaining show. How can a musical not be successful with such foot-tapping songs as I got rhythm and Nice work if you can get it?
There were some very musical moments to savour in this production. The song, Bidin’ my time, sung by the cowboys, was quite soothing. The ten-piece band produced a mellow sound in Bobby’s song, Things are looking up. The blues element in Polly’s song ‘But not for me’, was appropriately restrained.
The band, if not overpowering at times, responded well to Gershwin’s exciting and rhythmical score.
The choreography was excellent throughout the show, especially in the song, Slap that bass, which featured a double bass played by one of the cowboys. The silver costumes in the finale simply sparkled as did the whole production. Bobby Child (Rob Hastings) was a demanding role. If he wasn’t singing, he was climbing ladders, dancing like Fred Astaire, even dancing on cars and tables.
Polly Baker (Kathryn Howe) sang her solos confidently. Lank Hawkins (Richard Emms) added a touch of humour especially when firing his pistol at a cuckoo clock and when Irene Roth (Penny Tiffney), seduced him.
Beta Zangler (Khal Shahjahan) summed up the whole production when he said that all the cast could dance and sing, and that they all had a good sense of rhythm.
The director and choreographer was Phill Ruddy and Phil Redding was the musical director.
Crazy For You runs until Saturday, April 25.
Tickets are available on 01423 502116 or book online www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk