The Thirteen/WNET TV presentation of New Jersey's Paper Mill Playhouse production of Crazy for You will air nationally Oct. 20, putting Gershwin in your living room this fall.
Matthew Diamond, director of the Academy Award-nominated documentary, "Dancemaker," directed the TV production, taped over several nights in spring 1999.
The broadcast is part of the "Great Performances" series on PBS. Previously, Paper Mill's production of Show Boat was seen on PBS. Check local listings for exact air time.
Crazy For You, which features the music of George Gershwin and the lyrics of brother Ira, tells of banking heir and song-and-dance man Bobby Child, sent by his mother to foreclose the Gaiety Theater in Deadrock, Nevada. Instead he falls in love with the theatre owner's daughter, Polly, and plots to save the theatre by staging a show while impersonating impresario Bela Zangler. The musical is vaguely inspired by the Gershwins' hit Girl Crazy. The new libretto is by Ken Ludwig
James Brennan, who starred as Crazy for You lead Bobby Child on Broadway, directed Paper Mill Playhouse's revival, which ran April 14-May 30. Included in the cast are Larry Linville, Stacey Logan, Jim Walton and original Broadway cast members Bruce Adler and Jane Connell.
Linville is perhaps best known for his portrayal of Major Frank Burns on the TV series "M*A*S*H." Broadway appearances have included Eugene O'Neill's More Stately Mansions, John Osborne's Inadmissable Evidence and Rumors. Linville will play Crazy for You's theater owner, Everett.
Tony nominee Adler and Connell reprise their original cast Broadway roles as Zangler and Mother, respectively. Adler's credits include Those Were the Days (for which he won a Drama Desk Award and was Tony nominated), Rumors, Sunday in the Park With George and the 1979 revival of Oklahoma!. Connell, Tony nominated for Me and My Girl, appeared on Broadway in Lend Me a Tenor and as the original Agnes Gooch in Mame, a role she reprised in the film with Lucille Ball.
Walton takes the lead (Bobby Child) with Logan as Polly. Walton starred as Bobby in Australian and Toronto productions of Crazy for You as well as performing in And the World Goes 'Round, 42nd Street, Closer Than Ever and originating the role of Franklin Shephard in Merrily We Roll Along. Logan appeared on Broadway in High Society, Candide, Big and the original casts of Crazy For You and Beauty and the Beast.
Also in the cast are Lori Alexander, Jeb Brown, Jennifer Clippinger, Jennifer Lee Crowl, Debra Denys Smith, Sandy Edgerton, Juliet Fischer, Jerry Gallagher, Alan Gilbert, Stacey Todd Holt, Mylinda Hull, Jean Marie, Temple Kane, Matt Lashey, Gair Morris, Mia Price, Stephen Reed, Kilty Reidy, Scott Taylor, Adriene Thorne, Geoffrey Wade, Amelia White, Scott Willis and James Young.
Angelique Ilo recreates Susan Stroman's original choreography. Tom Helm is the musical director.
Crazy For You designers are Robin Wagner (sets), William Ivey Long (costumes) and Craig Cassidy (sound).
The Papermill Playhouse is located on the web at http://www.papermill.org.
-- By Kenneth Jones and Christine Ehren