November 13, 2018
No way could the Brothers Gershwin have known what “repurposing” is, but there is no better way to describe their sort-of-posthumous Crazy for You, now open for a five-week run in the venerable Alcazar Theater through Dec. 16.
The musical premiered in 1992, 55 years after the death of George Gershwin and nine years after the passing of Ira Gershwin, hence “posthumous,” but the hesitation to call it that is the result of the fact that they didn’t write it. And yet, it is their work.
What Bay Area Musicals is presenting is Ken Ludwig’s cobbling together of a Gershwin musical from various sources, mostly from the 1930 Girl Crazy (see the connection?), but also from here-and-there, so “Slap That Bass” and “Shall We Dance?” from the eponymous musical, “Someone to Watch Over Me” from Oh, Kay!, and so on.
Other Gershwin tunes in the show that you will recognize: “I Got Rhythm,” “Naughty Baby,” “They Can’t Take That Away from Me,” “Embraceable You,” “But Not for Me,” and “Nice Work if You Can Get It.”
The romantic comedy is restaged from the original Tony Award-winning choreography of Susan Stroman by director/choreographer Matthew McCoy, who chose Crazy for You as the first show of the company’s fourth season. He calls it a “quintessential classic musical comedy.” It’s one that has not been seen recently in the Bay Area:
No show fits that criteria better than Crazy for You. Not only does it contain all of the classic Gershwin songs we know and love, but it tells a sweet, hilarious story, filled to the brim with true love, gun-fighting cowboys and side-splitting high jinks,” McCoy said.
The musical tells the story of young New York banker Bobby Child, who is sent to Deadrock, Nevada, to foreclose on a rundown theater. There, he falls for spunky Polly Baker, the theater owner’s daughter. Polly takes an instant dislike to the city slicker, so Bobby vows — through cunning, razzamatazz, and a hilarious case of mistaken identity — to win Polly’s heart and save the theater.
Leading the large cast are Danielle Altizio (as Polly Baker), Conor Devoe (Bobby Child), Morgan Peters (Irene Roth), Tony Michaels (Bela Zangler), Mary Gibboney (Lottie/Patricia Fodor), Paul Plain (Perkins/Eugene Fodor), Charles Evans (Everett Baker), Sean McGrory (Lank Hawkins), Dani Cheiken (Tess), Leslie Waggoner (Patsy), Zoe Swenson-Graham (Mitzi), and Alyson Chilton (Elaine).
Bay Area Musicals is participating in a food pantry drive with St. Anthony’s (150 Golden Gate Ave) just a few blocks south of the Alcazar Theater. According to the company:
Approximately 25 percent of San Francisco’s seniors and 26 percent of children state-wide face food insecurity. We can see the troubles that plague this city walking to and from BART, and we are trying to help our community in a small way.
St. Anthony’s has served the Tenderloin community since 1950. More than one-third of those who seek meals at the dining hall do so as their only source of food, and they serve 2,000–3,000 hot, nutritious meals per day. Please join us in giving a little to our community this fall season.