Quote of the Day: I love the music of George and Ira Gershwin!

Crazy for You at Artistry, thru 2/11/24. Photo: Sam Lavine

Artistry’s production of Crazy for You, a Gershwin musical, is absolutely gorgeous. If I lived in Bloomington, I’d go multiple times. It has everything you could love about musical theater: phenomenal singing and dancing (the entire cast), dynamic choreography (Elly Stahlke & Kyle Weiler) excellent direction (Ben Bakken) beautiful costumes (Britt Hilton & Katie Phillips) and a 20-piece orchestra on stage led by the inimitable Anita Ruth. My favorite song was “Slap That Bass” with bass player Joan Griffith interacting with the cast and bringing all the style and pizzazz! 

Anita Ruth, conductor of the 20-piece orchestra for “Crazy for You” at Aristry, thru 2/11/24. Photo: Rey Heise

Kyle Weiler, not only a choreographer, but also the leading man, Bobby Child, is outstanding. He is an exceptional performer from his tap-dancing feet to his gorgeous voice and excellent acting skills. He can sing, dance, act, and charm his way into the hearts of the audience and Miss Polly Baker. Annika Isbell is also stunning as the leading lady, Polly. She has a tremendous vocal range and knows when to give us the lovely soft notes, then belt it out at the most dramatic parts. The two together have wonderful chemistry and top-notch talent.

Therese Walth and France Roberts; Photo by Sam Lavine

Jaclyn McDonald gets the fun role of Irene Roth, Bobby’s fiancé. She’s a bit brash and bossy, and not quite the right match for the banker who longs to perform. Jaclyn’s excellent singing, dancing, and acting skills shine in this performance. Therese Walth is hilarious as Bobby’s mom, Lottie Child and Patricia Fodor. France Roberts plays Bobby’s dad, Everett Baker and Eugene Fodor, a great acting partner to Walth. They get lots of laughs together. The fabulous ensemble cast members play various roles. Charlie Clark is great as over-the-top producer Bela Zangler. Jonah Hale plays Moose, funny and smooth.  Marley Ritchie is Patsy. Chris Sanchez is Custus. Carl Swanson is darling a Lank Hawkins. Dayle Theisen plays Tess. They are all incredible dancers and this gorgeous score gives them a chance to really show off their talents. 

Annika Isbell as Polly Baker; Photo by Sam Lavine

I am a huge fan of Gershwin music, big band, and classic musicals. The entire show is highly entertaining, and I recommend it to everyone. It was a huge treat to see the 20-piece orchestra up on stage, led by Anita Ruth. The production has a minimal set, mostly pieces that they move in and out, with raised platforms for the orchestra and a couple scenes up and to the back. The staging, set pieces, costumes, and excellent directing and acting make it clear where you are in the time period and what the characters want. Lighting design by Grant E. Merges. Sound Design by Collin Sherraden. Technical Direction by Will Rafferty. Audio Engineer is Richard Graham, and Scenic Charge Artist is Jeremy Ellarby.

Charlie Clark and Kyle Weiler; photo by Rey Heise (Loved their duet in this number!)

You can see Crazy for You at Artistry in Bloomington through Feb. 11, 2024. Hurry and get your tickets. You don’t want to miss this one!

Go. Create. Inspire!

Elly Stahlke and Marley Ritchie; photo by Rey Heise

Journaling Prompt: Do you have a favorite Gershwin number? Mine are “Someone to Watch Over Me,” “Embraceable You,” “I Got Rhythm,” and “They Can’t Take That Away From Me.” Just to name a few – and those are all in this production!