Crazy for You - Reviews
THIS dynamic re-invention of the 1930s musical, Girl Crazy, confirms Carlton Operatic Society's status as leading lights in amateur theatre circles. It's a triumph for director Robert Wildgust and a wonderful team of performers, in what is the group's 90th anniversary year.
The genius of George and Ira Gershwin shines through in this uplifting production, which has it all; individual talent, superbly choreographed dance routines (Amanda Hall) dazzling costumes, slick scene changes and majestic orchestration (Chris Rees).
The pairing of charismatic Tom Beynon as well to do playboy Bobby Child and Kimberley Brook in the role of Polly Baker works wonders and the duo hold all the aces with quality song and dance numbers.
Child's determination to hit the big time takes him from the heady heights of New York's 42nd street to dusty Deadrock,Nevada, where he falls for postmistress Polly.
The principals' delivery of showstopping songs including Embraceable You, They Can't Take That Away from Me, I Got Rhythm and Nice Work if You Can Get It are out of the top drawer.
Michael Pearson shows energy and versatility in his role of theatrical entrepreneur Bela Zangler, Sarah May Morris as temptress Irene Roth delivers a provocative showstopper in Naughty Baby and rising star Liam Hall makes his mark as saloon owner Lank Hawkins.
An irresistible Zangler Follies chorus line led by Nicola Bilton, Helen Eadsforth and Jackie Dunn, brings energy and zest to proceedings while an accomplished ensemble make telling contributions too.
Sharon Mitchell is impressive as Child's mother, the comic antics of Mike Newbold and Marie Rogers shine through and the scene where Baynon takes on the persona of Zangler, the two meeting up during a drunken episode, is a highlight.
This feel-good production has much to recommend it, not least scintillating choreography, wonderful singing and fabulous teamwork.
Who Could Ask for Anything More?
When you blend talent and enthusiasm with song, dance and humour, you are almost certain to succeed and Carlton have done just that with this production. Robert [Wildgust] used the stage and set well, establishing the characters and making the most of the humour of the piece. Christopher [Rees] controlled the music very well with excellent sound from stage and pit, well balanced and with plenty of interpretation. There were super performances from Tom Beynon (Bobby) and Kimberly Brook (Polly), both demonstrating their great vocal ability and working very well together in song and dance. Sarah May Morris (Irene) and Sharon Mitchell (Mother) gave strong character performances leaving us in no doubt as to their intentions, while Liam Hall in his first senior role was excellent as Lank Hawkins. There was strong support, lovely cameo roles and fine character portrayals from the other cast members and chorus. Excellent choreography and dance throughout, with innovation, blending well with the action on stage. The super set was handled very efficiently by the backstage crew and the lovely costumes and wigs certainly added to the visual effect, as indeed did the lighting. All the hard work which must have been involved in preparation certainly paid off. An excellent all round production.