Josh Franklin and Natalie Daradich Star in Crazy for You at Stratford Festival

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21 Apr 2014

Stratford Festival kicks off its 2014 season with a reimagined production of the musical comedy Crazy for You, with performances beginning April 21 prior to an official opening May 27.

Directed and choreographed by Donna Feore, Crazy for You features Josh Franklin (Ghost the Musical, Anything Goes) as Bobby Child and Natalie Daradich as Polly Baker. Tom Rooney (Hairspray) plays Broadway impresario Bela Zangler.

The cast also features Lally Cadeau as Mrs. Lottie Child, Shane Carty as Lank Hawkins, Keith Dinicol as Everett Baker, Robin Hutton as Irene Roth, Monique Lund as Patricia Fodor, Marcus Nance as Mingo, Stephen Patterson as Sam, Steve Ross as Moose and Shawn Wright as Eugene Fodor.

With music and lyrics by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin, and book by Ken Ludwig, Crazy for You was co-conceived by Ken Ludwig and Mike Ockrent. The musical was inspired by material by Guy Bolton and John McGowan and originally produced on Broadway by Roger Horchow and Elizabeth Williams.

"Crazy for You tells the story of Bobby Child who is sent to Deadrock, Nevada, to foreclose on a derelict theatre but unexpectedly falls for its owner's daughter, Polly Baker," press notes state. "The high-energy comedy and romance are further elevated by the dazzling score packed with beloved Gershwin songs, including 'I Got Rhythm,' 'Nice Work if You Can Get It,' 'They Can't Take That Away From Me' and 'Someone to Watch Over Me.'"



"Crazy for You promises to be a masterpiece in every sense of the word: a song-and-dance spectacle with stunning dance routines, exquisite staging and costumes, and of course, the powerful force of the Gershwins' timeless music," artistic director Antoni Cimolino said in a statement. "Revamping the show especially for our stage, as Donna has so brilliantly done, brings the most spectacular dancers in the country up close and personal with our audiences, giving them an experience they can't find anywhere else in quite the same way."

"Not a single day has passed since I began work on the show that I have not heard something new in Gershwin's extraordinary music," Feore added. "The complexity of his score inspired me to explore equally demanding styles of dance. I've based the choreography on the most exhilarating dance styles of the period. Gershwin loved hanging out at the Savoy Ballroom in the late twenties, and I'm certain that while there he was dazzled by the Charleston and the original swing dance — the lindy hop — a dance that was hot, wild and not a little dangerous."

The creative team includes musical director Shelley Hanson, designer Debra Hanson, lighting designer Paul Miller, sound designer Peter McBoyle and fight director John Stead.

The 2014 season runs from April 21-Oct. 12, featuring King Lear; Crazy for You; two versions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream; The Beaux' Stratagem; Man of La Mancha; Alice Through the Looking-Glass; Hay Fever; King John; Mother Courage and Her Children; Antony and Cleopatra; Christina, The Girl King; and more than 200 events in The Forum.

Visit stratfordfestival.ca for more information.