I've previously written about the regularity of community theater performers and how entertaining it is to see familiar faces in new venues. It's far easier for me to recognize local actors than Broadway ones, despite the latter's fame; I don't know about you, but I have neither the time nor budget to patronize Broadway performers with any frequency. But there are professional theaters nationwide that offer quality productions and actors, and I've been glad to be able to partake of several shows starring one dynamic duo.
Emily Afton) as Bobby Childs and Polly Baker" title="Crazy For You #1" width="150" height="150" class="size-thumbnail wp-image-491" align="right" />Crazy For You is a 1992 update of the 1930 Gershwin musical Girl Crazy. In the desert town of Dead Rock, Polly Baker is the proprietor of a has-been theater that's about to be repossessed by the bank. Bobby Childs is the New York bank owner's henpecked son, sent to Dead Rock to close the deal. When Bobby's background comes between his and Polly's budding romance, can his devious plan win back both the theater and the girl?
It's a lighthearted and funny story that the Mac-Haydn Theatre of upstate New York has smartly headlined with Colin Pritchard and Emily Thompson as Bobby and Polly. These two alumni of the theater's 2007 season, where they played Singin' in the Rain's Cosmo Brown and Lina Lamont, have been reunited for this one show. Each brings a natural enthusiasm for the stage and each other. Mr. Pritchard is as ebullient as ever, sweating as he performs his usual madcap antics involving a variety of props, costumes, and spontaneous dances. Ms. Thompson has a magnificent voice that, after being submerged in her previous performance as Lina Lamont, is finally unleashed to marvelous effect. With each star complementing the other's strengths, they are so obviously happy together.
The Mac-Haydn has never let me down, nor has the duo of Ms. Thompson and Mr. Pritchard; after seeing them be underutilized in the chorus of this spring's production of 42nd Street, it's a pleasure to have them back where they belong, center stage. As I had the opportunity to tell Mr. Pritchard after the show: "I can't see you two together and not give you a standing ovation." There are theatrical performances edgier or more daring than Crazy For You, but few will make you feel as happy on a Saturday night. Who could ask for anything more? If you can, catch this show in its remaining weekend, or its leading lady starring in her next show, opening in September. (Mr. Pritchard's next show is TBD)
[All images courtesy Mac-Haydn Theatre.]