REVIEW Crazy For You dazzles at Birmingham Hippodrome

Tom Chambers and Caroline Flack star in this feel-good musical that brings glamour and glitz to the stage.

Out in the dusty town of Deadrock, Nevada, feisty Polly Baker (Charlotte Wakefield) and her father Everett (Mark Sangstree) are struck with the news that bank foreclosure could see their beloved theatre to close its doors.

Skipping over to New York, eccentric Bobby Childs (Tom Chambers) is balancing his hectic life of his firey fiancée (Caroline Flack), getting his big break in acting and pleasing his controlling mother – who happens to own to the very bank that’s threatening to close the theatre. Before he knows it, Bobby has failed his audition for the Zangler Follies and is sent to dusty Deadrock to seize the Baker’s theatre. It’s here that he meets and falls head over heels in love with Polly, before going undercover as Bela Zangler and putting on a show to save the theatre from its impending closure.

Credit: Richard Davenport

With a cast boasting two Strictly Come Dancing champions – Chambers lifted the trophy in 2008 and Caroline Flack followed suit in 2014 – this cowboy-esque show is jam-packed with skilful dance routines that were impeccably delivered by Chambers on multiple occasions, alongside upbeat musical numbers that aloud Flack to display her impressive vocals – especially in her solo Naughty Girl in Act 2.

This show belongs to Chambers, who is no by no means a stranger to life on stage having starred as Jerry Travers in the West End production of Top Hat. His talent is unprecedented; whether it’s delivering simply outstanding and high-tempo tap dancing routines or interacting with the audience, the former Holby City star delivered on every level. The same can be said for Charlotte Wakefield; with powerful vocals and bottles of charisma, she makes her mark on stage as a woman who takes control of the situations around her.

Credit: Richard Davenport

In her stage debut, Caroline Flack shone as Irene Roth. While she may be known mostly for her presenting roles on The Xtra Factor and Love Island, her performance was impressive, and you can be sure that with more experience she’ll blossom into a talented actress.

Crazy For You is not short of content. While the storyline may be a little predictable and some of the humour and references may be a little timeless to a slightly younger generation, it’s still brilliantly entertaining and doesn’t fall short of showcasing the incredible Gershwin Brothers’ score. The ensemble is impressive, especially when they pick up instruments and perform the score live on the side of the stage, adding to the sparkle of this enjoyable show.

Entertaining, glamorous and uplifting, Crazy For You is a show that will leave you tapping your way out of the theatre. It runs at Birmingham Hippodrome until Saturday October 18.

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