LOVERS of musical theatre and, in particular, George and Ira Gershwin, are being offered the chance to go crazy at Abingdon Operatic Society’s latest production.
The society will be performing ‘the new Gershwin musical comedy’ Crazy for You at The Amey Theatre, Abingdon School, in Park Road, Abingdon, from Monday to Saturday, April 16 to 21, at 7.30pm.
A new Gershwin musical, how come, I hear you ask, as George died in 1937 at the age of just 38? Well, OK, not quite new as such, but new in the sense that Crazy for You is an adaptation by Ken Ludwig of several Gershwin shows, most notably Girl Crazy from 1930.
Ludwig took Girl Crazy, added to it more of the duo’s best songs and came up with Crazy for You. It features some of the Gershwins’ best-loved compositions including Someone to Watch Over Me, Embraceable You, Nice Work If You Can Get It and They Can’t Take That Away From Me.
With an amusing storyline and spectacular dance numbers, Crazy for You won the Tony award for best musical in 1992 after opening on Broadway in February of that year.
Crazy for You tells the story of New York playboy Bobby Child, played by Duncan Blagrove, who, dissatisfied with his party lifestyle, dreams of becoming a Broadway hoofer. He finally plucks up the courage to audition for the impresario Bella Zangler (Matthew Shipman), but things do not go well.
Bobby’s mother (Lynne Winter) wants him to give up on these dreams and join the family banking firm instead, so she packs him off to Nevada to foreclose on a small-town theatre.
He promptly falls in love with the town’s only woman, Polly Baker, played by Sally Hall, but then discovers the only way he can win her heart is to impersonate the impresario Zangler and put on a show in the theatre. However, confusion reigns when the real-life Zangler arrives in town.
The show marks the debut of Joy Skeels as director and Natalie Biggs as choreographer, with the team completed by musical director John Nye and dance captain Jane Birkby.
The remainder of the cast is as follows: Lank Hawkins — Adrian Amstead; Irene Roth — Kerry Chaundy; Eugene Fodor — Kevin Pope; Patricia Foder — Lorna Stevenson; Everett Baker — Rob Bertwistle; Moose — Jon Ridley; Mingo — Simon Blainey; Sam — Iain Launchbury; Tess — Lucy Bent; Patsy — Jane Birkby; Wyatt — John Wilkes; Junior — Brian Miller and Custus — Tim Shipman.
The Follies Girls are played by Sarah Carter, Lydia Finch, Tara Hunter, Rebecca Peberdy, Joanne Pickering, Kath Ridley and Lynda Teasdale.
Tickets, concessions, special offers and group discounts — £14 to £8 — are available via the ticket inquiry line on 01235 834383. Unreserved balcony seats are also available from the Newbury Building Society branch in Abingdon. For more details or to book online visit: www.abingdonoperatic.co.uk