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Crazy for “Crazy for You”

Singing, dancing, and unlikely romantic coincidences occupy the rewarding performance of Palomar Performing Arts production of “Crazy for You.” A riff off the older play “Girl Crazy,” “Crazy for You” featured music and lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin.

The costumes and tap dancing harkened back to the movies of early last century, with slapstick comedy, people falling in love at first sight, and even the unlikely Mid-Atlantic accent affected by the “upper” class. Bobby and Polly, the lead boy meets girl characters are charmingly played by Josh Bradford and Sara Schecter, respectively.

Early on in the production, there was a dreamlike sequence where Bobby and the showgirls show off a Ziegfield follies-like extravaganza, albeit on a necessarily smaller scale. Sequins and feathers emphasized the glamour and attraction of life in “Zangler’s Broadway Theater.” Rich boy Bobby was shown to be willing to cast off the role of banker that his mother, and “fiancée,” wanted for him because the theater beckoned. The dancing abilities of this chorus line showed an energy and enthusiasm that was exciting, although the performers appeared natural and at ease. M. Elaine Wiedauer as “mother” and Dean Ponder as “Irene Roth,” the fiancé were wonderful foils to his theatrical ambitions.

The singing was enjoyable as well, not only in the nostalgia of hearing the old standards, like “Someone to Watch Over Me,” but also in the ability and talent of the singers. The singing felt as if it was a natural consequence in different turn of events, such as putting away chairs after a meeting, was an example of how musical theater should be done.

Even in Deadrock, Polly’s hometown, was there the draw of show business. Polly and her father owned a theater that had long since left its heyday behind. Polly’s father Everett, played by Tom Brault, was constantly in a nostalgic reverie about his wife, long gone, and what a vision she had been on the stage. This gave the audience an emotional connection and investment in the fate of these folks and this town.

The town was in decline and the theater was being threatened with foreclosure. Neighbor and owner of Lank’s Saloon, Lank Hawkins, played by Sergio Rojas, had not exactly nefarious plans to expand his business by attempting to acquire the property next door, their theater. But even so, his plans were ultimately a scheme to bring prosperity to Deadrock.

There were also extra exciting bits, where the cowboys in the Nevada setting were apparently fighting and shooting.

And the production was genuinely funny. In particular, there was a scene that recalled a Marx Brothers bit where one performer’s actions were mirrored by another. Another amusing bit was the dueling Eastern European accents of Zangler and faux Zangler.

The reviewer wasn’t the only one to appreciate the performance. Theater goers Angie and Veronica Titus loved it and Drew Titus who played cowboy “Custus” noted that they had several standing ovations. Audience members Lupe Miramontes and Javier Martinez said it was really fun and they enjoyed it a lot.

This production was well done and the fact that the matinees sold out attested to this fact.

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