Royal City Musical Theatre (RCMT) debuted it’s 31st season with the long-awaited opening of Crazy For You, at the Massey Theatre. Starring a powerhouse duo of Todd Talbot as Bobby Child and Rabecca Talbot as Polly Baker, this romantic comedy checks all the boxes of a golden-age Broadway musical. If 42nd Street and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers had a musical child, this is it!
The glitz and glamour of New York, NY to the dust and depression of Deadrock, NV are perfectly nailed by costume designer Danny Tejani’s work, from the lavish showgirls costumes and head-dresses to well-worn dungarees and boots of Deadrock cowpokes.
Crazy For You finds aspiring song & dance man Bobby Child (Todd Talbot), working as a banker but longing for the footlights of Broadway sent to Deadrock, Nevada to foreclose on a theatre. There, he falls for Polly Baker (Rabecca Talbot), the sweet postmistress, whose father happens to own the beautiful, but decaying, Gaiety Theatre. Bobby concocts a scheme to bring together New York City Follies Girls with the local layabout singing cowboys to put on a show and save the theatre. However, the tried and true trope of mistaken identity, slamming doors, and love-hate battles ensue to create a rom-com for the ages.
While Crazy For You feels like a musical from the golden-age of Broadway, it’s relatively new making its Broadway debut in 1992. Ken Ludwig wrote the “New Gershwin Musical” loosely based on the Gershwin’s 1930 Girl Crazy, pulling songs from that musical as well as others from the songwriting duo’s vast catalogue to come up with a musical that’s fun and familiar. With songs like: “Embraceable You” , “Someone to Watch Over Me”, “But Not For Me”, “They Can’t Take That Away from Me”, “Nice Work If You Can Get It”, and “I Got Rhythm”, there’s sure to be something everyone will recognize and tap along.
RCMT was set to open Crazy For You in Spring 2020, but just weeks ahead of opening the pandemic closures put a pause to that idea. Now three years later, luckily almost all the cast was able to return and you could feel the excitement on opening night for the company to get this show on stage with a live audience. Leading the charge, Todd Talbot says this is one of his favourite musicals and his love for the show, and the genre shines. He embodies the musical leading man, with the charm, and talent, like Danny Kaye, he’s an actor with great comedic timing and a light in his eye that’s felt in the back of the room, along with being a superb dancer and singer owning the stage with his fancy footwork. We only wish the stage was bigger to see even more of Director-Choreographer Valerie Easton’s Busby Berkley-esque numbers, but the intimate Massey Theatre stage allows us to see and feel the intimate moments better, especially the (as expected) perfect chemistry between Todd and his wife Rabecca Talbot. When “Bobby” sings “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” to “Polly” it feels like Todd is singing to Rabecca. It’s not just Bobby that puts Polly on a pedestal as he tries to win her over, Rabecca’s powerful but effortless vocals and endless charisma, elevate her in the eyes of everyone present. She shines in this role, playing both the no-nonsense country-girl and the love-struck ingénue with equal believability.
Crazy For You runs until May 14, 2023 at Massey Theatre, 735 Eighth Avenue, New Westminster. Even on opening night, some audience members were already on their second visit, having watched previews so get your tickets now, at royalcitymusicaltheatre.com/crazy-for-you or masseytheatre.com/event/crazy-for-you