Review: Crazy For You at Candlelight Theatre
Crazy For You at Candlelight Theatre serves up a wonderful night of theatre and satisfied my craving for razzle dazzle musical theatre!
I think it’s impossible for one to ever tire of the music of George and Ira Gershwin. There are certainly plenty of musical scores that fit this mold like An American in Paris and Nice Work If You Can Get It. Taking the music of the Gershwin and creating a new book. Crazy For You has always been one of my favorite musical comedies. And thanks to the original Choreography of Susan Stroman being recreated, it continues to be a favorite today.
When Dann Dunn directs and choreographs a musical, you know you are going to get a savory night of musical theatre. In my humble opinion, Mr. Dunn is underrated. I have yet to see something he has choreographed that I didn’t love. This was no exception.
Nate Golden plays song and dance man, Bobby Child. Full disclosure, Nate Golden and I are business partners with Nightcap Cabaret in Philadelphia. I do believe I can be partial, but felt the need to be upfront with our faithful readers. Mr. Golden’s portayal was like non other I have seen. Think Fred Astaire’s pencil thin frame, Gene Kelly’s debonair moves, and Danny Kaye’s charm and delivery. (My impartial dinner companion agrees!)
Countering Golden is Madison Buck in the role of Polly Baker. Ms. Buck brings strength and vocal prowess to some of Gershwin’s most notable songs, “Someone To Watch Over Me” and “Embraceable You.” I was a bit disheartened by the designers Tara Bowers and Timm Cannon’s choice in costumes. Whereas most in the cast were well dressed, Polly didn’t fit the mold. She’s a tomboy, but was dressed in oversized regular female attire making her look frumpy. In addition, her wig was a distraction to her initial introduction. Gladly, her robust voice hides any other imperfections. She is glorious.
Kaylan Wetzel’s (as Irene Roth) costumes were extraordinary. Completely aiding is the delivery of a sexy vixen/ “naughty baby”. Renee Grant performed as Lotte Child, also adorns some swanky costumes, particularly a lovely “mink”.
The ensemble is a sheer delight. Candlelight veterans Erin Waldie, Lindsay Mauck, and Kristen Smith are standouts. Kimberly Maxson, who plays Tess, is the quintessential chorus gal. The legs, the body, the poise. It’s no wonder Dann Dunn uses her in many of his productions.
Lindsay Mauck and Topher Layton (a Jack Black look-a-like) as The Fodors bring additional comic relief to an already funny production. “Stiff Upper Lip” is one of my favorite numbers. Probably cause it’s awesome choreography benefits the non-dancer.
Candlelight tends to outsource their scenic designs. Envisions Productions created a Broadway quality set that was completely appropriate and aided to the story. I do wish the Zangler Theatre sign lit up. Would have added to “Nice Work If You Can Get It.”
The one downfall at Candlelight is the absence of an orchestra but they always have decent “canned” orchestration to accompany the performers. Sound design is no small fete. Dennis Mahoney’s design was appropriate but not effective. There are two particular scenes in the saloon that warrant laughs and applause. An old time gun fight, but sound effects all came from front of the stage and didn’t quite land to the back of theatre. Leaving the stage combat scenes a bit underwhelming.
I want to tip my hat to the 8 ladies sitting to the table to my left in the back of the house. They had just as much fun as I did. To the point where they were humming and singing along to nearly every tune. I think one of them could have gone up and been Polly’s understudy! There was a gentleman to my right that literally did a spit take when Polly delivered one of the funniest lines on the show regarding how a man makes her feel down in her basement.
Candlelight is a full service dinner theatre that serves a delicious buffet with desserts. The performance I attended was sold out. So get your tickets now before the rest of the run sells out too. Be sure to get the brownie sundae at intermission. You’ll thank me later! Shows runs about 2:40 but it goes by quickly.
Crazy For You
Music and Lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin
Book by Ken Ludwig
Runs now until June 25th
2208 Millers Rd, Wilmington, DE 19810
Anne Marie holds a BFA in Theatre Arts from Kutztown University. She has worked professionally in Philadelphia and Delaware County in stage management, directing, and producing. She is the owner of Nightcap Cabaret, Philadelphia’s philanthropic cabaret company. Over the past 20 years, Anne Marie has worked with Mazeppa Productions, The Walnut Street Theatre, Upper Darby Summer Stage, Encore Entertainment, Rockwell Productions, Media Theater, Players Club of Swarthmore, and Narberth Community Theatre, among others. Anne Marie served as a Barrymore nominator for Theatre Philadelphia for the 16/17 season and currently serves as an adjudicator for Philadelphia Independence Awards.
She is currently Editor-in-chief for Philly Review.
Instagram and Twitter @annemarie0817