CRAZY FOR YOU – Music and Lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin; Book by Ken Ludwig; Directed by Steve Wilson; Musical Direction by Richard Shore; Choreography by Shawna Walker.  Produced by Candlelight Dinner Playhouse (4747 Marketplace Drive, Johnstown) through April 7.  Tickets available at 970-744-3747 or 

If you love a show with non-stop dancing including long stretches of some of the best tap dancing you’ll ever see, women dancers pretending to be bass fiddles, and outstanding lifts and twirls, this is the show to see. Choreographed by Shawna Walker, this cast of seventeen get the workout of their lives with nearly continuous movement wrapped around sight gags and a sweet contentious love story – the best kind. Sara Kowalski and Matthew Dailey lead the dancing but are followed by a charming quintet of Follies Girls who teach another quintet of cowboys how to move their boots. It’s all light-hearted fun and warms these still cool nights.  

The strength and beauty of an able-bodied male dancer lifting his partner with ease and grace is hard to beat. The years that Matt Dailey spent touring with JERSEY BOYS and MISS SAIGON show in the confidence with which he tackles the most complicated of routines. He is smooth, joyful, strong and professional in all styles of dancing. He’s not hard to look at either. When he’s on stage with Sara, his dance partner in most numbers, and Patric Case, who plays his reluctant producer, there’s so much charm on stage, it could almost make your eyes bleed. 

This is a cast that can do it all. Sing, dance, emote, even do old-fashioned Marx Brothers mirror routines. All to the glorious George and Ira Gershwin music written between 1918 and 1937. How can that music and those lyrics still be relevant, you ask? The playwright that brought us the comic scripts of LEND ME A TENOR, MOON OVER BUFFALO and THE GAME’S AFOOT, to name just a few of the Ken Ludwig catalog, took 19 of the Gershwin tunes and carved a show out of fluff and fun. No relevancy needed. Just a razzle-dazzle dance fest. 

A ten-second synopsis: Bobby Child, a frustrated office worker who just wants to dance but can’t get cast, is assigned (by his mother) the task of foreclosing on a non-producing property she owns out West which just happens to be a theatre. Of course, when he gets there, he falls in love with the daughter of the owner of the theatre, goes into Mickey Rooney mode and decides to put on a show to raise the money to save the theatre. Five chorines arrive from New York, teach the cowboys how to dance and the show must go on. But SO MUCH fun strung in between those little bits of plot. More schtick than you can shake a stick at. 

The complicated set involving a two-story hotel with a bar in the lobby was well designed by Brian Watson and built under the guidance of Todd Welch, Tech Director, and his crew. Deb Faber continues her long run of turning out almost perfect costumes for every show at Candlelight . Brett Maughn created some magical moments and kept our eyes in the right place with his lighting design. Richard Shore, functioning as Musical Director, polished the cast’s harmonies and got a deeply resonant sound from the ten-piece orchestra that provided the music. And the whole kit and kaboodle was lovingly pushed into place by Steve Wilson, Director extraordinaire. 

The kitchen, as always, pleases with their themed menu including a lovely Shepard’s pie and, in loving homage to the now departed BDT Stage, a cordon bleu chicken dish. Who Could Ask For Anything More? 

A WOW factor of 9!! 

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