“It’s Crazily Good”
It’s a big challenge, being the first amateur group to return to the Derngate stage and, for the most part, the Northampton Amateur Operatic Company rose to the occasion with their colourful production of Gershwin musical, ‘Crazy For You’.
The feather light tale, of a New York Banking heir who dreams of dancing and falls in love with a Nevada theatre owner’s daughter, is carried along by its superb music with classics such as ‘I Got Rhythm’, ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’, ‘Embraceable You’ and ‘Nice Work if You Can Get It’.
David Russell, in the leading role of Bobby Child took to his first performance at The Royal & Derngate like a duck to water, carrying strong solos and comedy scenes with aplomb. He was ably supported by NAOC stalwarts John and Lisa Simpson, who carried off their respective roles of theatre impresario Bella Zanger and demanding fiancée Irene with style.
The best scenes were one involving Bobby and Bella in a drunken mirror image comedy sequence in the Salon, and the New York based opening, where Bobby sings around a car which disgorges a string of dazzling show girls. The revolving sets were ingenious but the stage crew needed to be more on the ball, as several scenes were spoilt by the sight of people walking around backstage through gaping holes in the scenery or a backlog of people trying to get off the set.
Some members of the large cast also seemed to be concentrating so hard on their dance steps that some of the natural gaiety and enjoyment of the numbers were lost. But a few clumsy exits and sound difficulties can’t detract from the fact that this is a two hour, all singing, all dancing show which every member of the cast put their hearts into. Once they relax into their parts I am sure the audience will be shouting “Who Could Ask For Anything More”.