Triangle Arts and Entertainment – News and Reviews Theatre Dance Music Arts

“Crazy for You” Combines Glorious Gershwin Tunes with the Knee-Slapping Comedy of Ken Ludwig

"Crazy for You" stars Carly Grissom and Joshua Keen (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

“Crazy for You” stars Carly Grissom and Joshua Keen (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

The North Carolina Theatre Conservatory will stage Crazy for You on Aug. 14-16 in the A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh, NC. The award-winning 1992 Broadway and 1993 West End musical features music by George Gershwin (1898-1937), lyrics by Ira Gershwin (1896-1983), and a book by contemporary playwright and screenwiter Ken Ludwig (Lend Me a Tenor and The Fx on the Fairway).

NCTC’s gala youth-theater production of Crazy for You stars seven-year NCTC veteran Josh Keen as New York City playboy Bobby Child, the scion of a wealthy banking family; Carly Grissom as down-on-his-luck Gaiety Theater proprietor Everett Baker’s spunky daughter, Polly; and Collin Yates as New York theatrical producer Bela Zangler. Keen is a junior at Triton High School in Dunn, Baker is a junior at Broughton High School in Raleigh, and Yates is a recent graduate of Raleigh’s Millbrook High School who will matriculate at East Carolina University in Greenville this fall.

According to preshow publicity, the North Carolina Theatre Conservatory is “… North Carolina Theatre‘s flagship training program offering professional instruction in acting, voice, and dance for ages three to adult ….”

“[Crazy for You] will be produced by the students of NCTC’s Summer Master Theatre Arts School (STAS), NCT’s four-week summer camp with emphasis on pre-professional training of the highest caliber, culminating in a full scale musical production. Students range in age from middle school to rising college students.

Crazy for You will be directed/choreographed by dance department head Tito Hernandez and produced by NCTC artistic director Ray Walker. With more than 20 years of experience as a professional choreographer, actor, dancer and educator, dance department head Tito Hernandez made his Broadway debut in the Tony Award®-winning musical Jerome Robbins’ Broadway. Other credits include Bob Fosse’s Dancin’, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats, the National Tour of Evita, and The Gingerbread Lady, starring Oscar® winner Shelly Winters. “Mr. Hernandez has had a long history with NCT, including choreographing productions of Evita (starring Ray Walker and Lauren Kennedy), The King and I (starring Lou Diamond Phillips), and NCT’s Summer Theatre Arts School (STAS).

“This year, with support from the City of Raleigh, the North Carolina Theatre Conservatory will be moving the production from their stage in North Raleigh to the A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. This exciting change gives the students an opportunity to perform on a professional stage for a larger audience.

“Director Tito Hernandez said, ‘Thanks to the City for affording our kids this incredible opportunity! They will now have a venue that meets the caliber of their performance and talent. Audience members of all ages will be able to tap their troubles away while enjoying another classic American Musical Theatre piece performed by the students who will become the next rising stars!’

Crazy for You is the story of Bobby Child [played for NCTC by Josh Keen], a well-to-do 1930s playboy whose dream in life is to dance. And despite the serious efforts of his mother and soon-to-be ex-fiancée, Bobby achieves his dream! Memorable Gershwin tunes include ‘I Can’t Be Bothered Now,’ ‘Bidin’ My Time,’ ‘I Got Rhythm,’ ‘Naughty Baby,’ ‘They Can’t Take That Away from Me,’ ‘But Not for Me,’ ‘Nice Work if You Can Get It,’ ‘Embraceable You,’ and ‘Someone to Watch Over Me.’ Crazy for You is the winner of three [1992] Tony Awards [including Best Musical], five [1992] Outer Critics Circle Awards, and two [1992] Drama Desk Awards.”

The North Carolina Theatre Conservatory presents CRAZY FOR YOU at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 14, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Aug. 15, and 2 p.m. Aug. 16 in the A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. South St., Raleigh, North Carolina 27601.

TICKETS: $25-$50.

BOX OFFICE: 919-855-0015 or http://www.etix.com/.

SHOW: http://www.nctheatre.com/nct/blog/are-you-ready-to-get-crazy, http://nctheatre.com/blog/all-about-crazy-you, http://www.nctheatre.com/blog/all-about-crazy-you-0, and http://www.dukeenergycenterraleigh.com/event/crazy-for-you-6215.

VIDEO LOG: http://www.nctheatre.com/blog/crazy-you-conservatory-crazies-vlog-series.

PRESENTER: http://www.nctheatre.com/page/about-conservatory and https://www.facebook.com/NCTheatreConservatory.

VENUE: http://www.dukeenergycenterraleigh.com/venue/fletcher-opera-theater.

DIRECTIONS: http://www.dukeenergycenterraleigh.com/directions.

PARKING: http://www.dukeenergycenterraleigh.com/parking.

OTHER LINKS:

Crazy for You (1992 Broadway and 1993 West End musical): http://www.tamswitmark.com/shows/crazy-for-you/ (Tams-Witmark Music Library, Inc.), http://gershwin.com/publications/crazy-for-you/ (George and Ira Gershwin’s website), http://www.kenludwig.com/crazy_for_you/crazy_for_you.php (Ken Ludwig’s website), http://www.ibdb.com/show.php?id=2807 (Internet Broadway Database), and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crazy_for_You_%28musical%29 (Wikipedia).

George Gershwin (Brooklyn, NY-born composer, 1898-1937): http://gershwin.com/ (official website), http://www.ibdb.com/person.php?id=5813 (Internet Broadway Database), http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0006097/ (Internet Movie Database), and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Gershwin (Wikipedia).

Ira Gershwin (New York, NY-born lyricist, 1896-1983): http://gershwin.com/ (official website), http://www.ibdb.com/person.php?id=6435 (Internet Broadway Database), (Internet Movie Database), and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ira_Gershwin (Wikipedia).

Ken Ludwig (York, PA-born playwright and screenwiter, 1950-): http://www.kenludwig.com/ (official website), http://www.ibdb.com/person.php?id=7069 (Internet Broadway Database), http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0525024/ (Internet Movie Database), and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Ludwig (Wikipedia).

Tito Hernandez (director and choreographer and the NCTC’s director of dance): http://www.nctheatre.com/page/about-conservatory (North Carolina Theatre bio) and https://www.facebook.com/tito.hernandez.9279 (Facebook page).

EDITOR’S NOTE:

Robert W. McDowell has written articles for The News & Observer, The Raleigh Times, Spectator Magazine, CVNC, and Triangle Arts and Entertainment, all based in Raleigh. He edits and publishes two FREE weekly e-mail newsletters. Triangle Review provides comprehensive, in-depth coverage of local performing-arts events. (Start your FREE subscription by e-mailing robertm748@aol.com and typing SUBSCRIBE TR in the Subject: line.) McDowell also maintains a FREE list of movie sneak previews. (To subscribe, e-mail robertm748@aol.com and type SUBSCRIBE FFL FREE in the Subject: line.)

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Categorised in: Features, Lead Story, Theatre Feature