Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Crazy For You: Suffering from a Lack of Colin Donnell

I decided in a last minute switch of tickets to see Crazy For You.  I had heard good things about this production that started this summer at the Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park.  It transferred to the West End and I had never seen the 1992 Broadway production.  They had half price tickets available so I scooped one up (I also noticed, after I bought my ticket, that they had day tickets for less).

Frankly I was a little disappointed.  It is a perfectly fine musical but I felt like it paled in comparison to Anything Goes.  There could be a couple of reasons for this.  First off, it is a thin story (albeit like AG) hung together with Gershwin music.  Second, I felt like the leads in this production just didn't have the sizzle and charisma of Sutton Foster and Colin Donnell.  Certainly these are iconic songs but the performances were just ok.  I wanted something a little more than ok. The voices were all perfectly fine but the interpretations were a little flat.  It felt very textbook.  Nothing was wrong but nothing was unique to the performers.  Third, I might just hate Ken Ludwig.  I'm not sure...I will get back to you on that.  

It is definitely a hokey musical and makes no apologies for that but that is all the more reason the cast and the voices have to be fantastic.  The production uses the original Susan Stroman choreography.  There are sparkling costumes and a fun set.  But nothing made it feel special.

For a revival, I always ask the question--why revive this work now.  In this particular instance, I can see London audiences lapping up the exuberance of this particular show but for me, having already seen a toe-tapping, exuberant Anything Goes in New York, this was somewhat repetitive and lacking for me. 

There is nothing bad about this show.  There just isn't anything great about it either. 

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