Talented, energetic cast makes 'Crazy for You' work

Published: Monday, June 18 2012 2:05 p.m. MDT

Nicole Riding, as Irene Roth, is surprised to fall in love with a Dead Rock cowboy, Ben Henderson, as Lank Hawkins, in "Crazy for You."

Can I Get A Copy Photography

CRAZY FOR YOU; Hale Center Theater Orem, 225 W. 400 North; through Aug. 4; directed by David Tinney; tickets at 801-226-8600; running time 2 hours 30 minutes with one intermission

OREM — Zany David Smith is the key to a successful "Crazy for You" show at the Hale Center Theater in Orem, but he is supported by an equally talented and energetic cast.

As Smith, cast as a banker's son reluctantly assigned to foreclose on The Gaiety Theater in Dead Rock, Nev., tries to pursue his dancing dream and get the girl, he gets the chance to tap dance, sing, ad lib, throw in some improv and stretch his rubber face beyond physical limits in this musical treat.

As Bobby Child, he's funny and charming and the Energizer Bunny for most of the story. He never stops. As a pseudo Bela Zangler, he's unstoppable.

However, that's not to diminish the parts played by the rest of the well-directed, well-chosen cast.

The five dancing girls from the Zangler Follies are polished and beautiful, moving with a grace that speaks of years of practice, all the while wearing big, friendly smiles.

That troupe includes Emily Bell, Misha Jenkins, Mimi Knell, Melissa Lindsey and Katie Harmon in the Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday cast. Jenkins, as Patsy, is especially endearing.

Nicole Riding, who plays the sleek, wealthy, jilted lover of Child, Irene Roth, gets her chance to shine in "Naughty Baby" and performs throughout with elegance.

Debra Weed and Hailey Morey are double cast as Polly Baker, the small-town gal who wants to save her father's theater and doesn't want to fall in love with the man she perceives to be her enemy. Morey, playing the part on opening night, does a remarkable job.

Cathleen Metten plays the meddling mother of Child, ruling his life with her money and an iron fist.

Taylor Eliason is Bela Zangler, who first appears to play only a minor role as the owner of the New York Zangler Theater but ends up in Dead Rock with much more of a role — playing opposite Smith a couple of times as he takes on the persona of Zangler.

There are plentiful songs and complicated dances in this show and a good number of laugh-out-loud bits as even Dead Rock's "cadaver" cowboys get swept into the action.

As both director and choreographer, David Tinney has put enough comic bits and opportunities for play to keep what could be a tired, old show fresh. Shooting the piano is one example.

Kudos also to the music direction. The songs are crisp and lively (although there are still a couple that could be cut for time's sake).

In addition, the costumes (changed throughout at a rapid-fire pace) are gorgeous and clever. The set is an interesting backdrop of wooden antiques and stars.

If you're a fan of Gershwin or just enjoy a lot of colorful dance, music and Western action, here's a show for you.

If you go:

What: "Crazy for You"

Where: Hale Center Theater Orem, 225 W. 400 North, Orem

When: 7:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday though Aug. 4

Cost: $18 adult A tickets weekends, $20 weekends, $16 B/$18 weekdays, $4 discount for children

Website: www.haletheater.org

Sharon Haddock is a professional writer with 35 years experience, 17 at the Deseret News. Her personal blog is at sharonhaddock.blogspot.com.

Email: haddoc@desnews.com

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