I saw a touring production of Crazy for You years ago with a lot of very talented singers and tap dancers, so it was with some skepticism that I took my seat amid a full house at Covedale Center for a production by a bunch of kids (about 80, in fact) whose average age is just a bit over 16. But Cincinnati Young People’s Theatre (CYPT) won me over with a performance that was solid, if densely populated, in every way. And there were moments when just about every performer was tapping — more like thundering — in unison, thanks to choreographer Jennifer A. Martin.
Crazy for You is the lightweight story of Bobby (Tommy Boeing, who knows how to wear tap shoes and a tux), eager to be in showbiz, despite his mother’s efforts to engage him in banking and an angry, unwanted fiancée who won’t let him be. Everyone else around Bobby loves him as a hoofer and an entertainer. Bobby is sent to Nevada to repossess a theater, but instead he produces a show to stave off foreclosure and win the hand of feisty Polly (Dorsey Ziller, as good with solo numbers as she is leading dance numbers), the theater owner’s daughter.
Ken Ludwig’s script is full of witty dialogue and funny situations that director Tim Perrino, who’s been staging CYPT shows for 30 years, knows how to use to great effect. Music director Steve Goers leads eight musicians who sound like more playing the familiar George Gershwin score, and the sets — rotating mobile units designed by Matt Lape — make for swift scene transitions. The performers aren’t the most seasoned actors, but they’re having fun, and Boeing’s comic duet with Kelcey Steele as the impresario Zangler, “What Causes That?” is clever and sophisticated. This is a thoroughly enjoyable show.
CRAZY FOR YOU, presented by Cincinnati Young People’s Theatre at the Covedale Center for the Performing Arts, continues through Aug. 7. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.