High energy, high kicking and gloriously glamorous, ‘Crazy For You’ is the ultimate feel-good musical with a fabulous score from the Gershwin brothers’ songbook, and it will head to Aberdeen next month.
Mistaken identities, plot twists, heartbreak, happiness and a wealth of memorable tunes, including ‘I Got Rhythm’, ‘They Can’t Take That Away From Me’, ‘Nice Work If You Can Get It’ and ‘Embraceable You’, all feature in this exhilarating celebration of the great Broadway musicals.
We caught up with television and theatre performer, Claire Sweeney, who plays the role of Irene Roth in the show, alongside ‘Casualty’ and ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ star Tom Chambers and Olivier Award nominee Charlotte Wakefield.
Talking about her character, Claire said: “Irene is very sophisticated, and she thinks knows exactly what she wants when it comes to her life and love. But in practice she completely goes for the opposite of what she originally wanted in terms of the man she ends up with.
“As far as her fitting in to the storyline, at the start of the show she is engaged to Bobby, Tom Chambers’ character, and the audience sees the pitfalls of their relationship and ultimately the biggest problem is when he discovers love elsewhere when he travels across America.
“He then meets Polly, played by Charlotte Wakefield in a town called Deadrock, Nevada and there everything changes for him, and Irene.”
She added: “It was the Gerswhin score that made me really want to play Irene – anything Gerswhin is fantastic. And in fact I remember seeing ‘Crazy For You’ the first time around with Ruthie Henshall playing Polly, Charlotte Wakefield’s role.
“The music is just great and I absolutely loved it then and I still love it now!”
Claire admitted that she was excited to visit the north east as she explained: “I’m really looking forward to visiting Aberdeen with the tour of ‘Crazy For You’ and exploring what it has to offer whilst I’m there.”
Meanwhile Claire’s co-star, Tom Chambers, is fulfilling a teenage dream by starring in the musical.
By the time the curtain came down on a production of ‘Crazy For You’ in the early Nineties, a 15-year-old Tom Chambers knew his heart lay in performing.
“It was the very first live musical I ever saw on stage and it just filled me with so much entertainment and wonder. It was amazing to see what they did with the theatre space and how the story was told. It was the only bit of theatre which truly inspired me,” he recalled.
Tom plays Bobby, a banker sent to close down a failing theatre who falls for the daughter of the building’s proprietor. Determined to win her heart, he adopts the guise of a Hungarian impresario in order to save the theatre and win her heart.
Tom has become a sought-after theatre performer although he has reprised the role of Sam Strachan for Casualty prior to this ‘Crazy For You’ tour.
He said: “I loved coming back to the show. When I played the part originally, I knew if I wasn’t careful, I would want to stay for ever as it was a great part with great people.
I needed to branch out and fulfil other ambitions and do a lead role in a musical.
“Sam is a bit of a rogue as a character and he is fun to play. It has been brilliant. It is like stepping back into your favourite pair of shoes.”
And now it is ‘Crazy For You’ which is set to take up the rest of his year.
It is also a bit of a character reprise for him as he played the part for the Watermill Theatre, which is co-producing this tour, and he cannot wait to share it with UK audiences.
Tom explained: “Taking on ‘Crazy For You’ was a no brainer for me. It is absolutely my favourite all time musical.
“I always loved the song and dance happy entertainer shows like ‘Singin’ in The Rain’, ‘Me and My Girl’, and ‘Crazy For You’. I think ‘Crazy For You’ has the absolutely perfect balance of humour, story and singing.
“There are so many musicals that are heavy on just one element but this show has the perfect combination of everything. It is a bit like the show dance on Strictly with everything slotting into place in the right order.
“I don’t want to spoil it for people who may or may not have caught it before but the audience really took to it.
“All the traits are there that the other productions had but you also have the cast playing the instruments live on stage as well as singing and dancing.”
And it seems the Aberdeen visit will suit Tom as he explained: “Touring is great. You get to see places that you would not normally go.
“I always love being anywhere near water or being near the sea. I will enjoy the more coastal theatres or those that are close to those areas.”
‘Crazy For You’ will run at His Majesty’s Theatre in Aberdeen from Tuesday, March 27 to Saturday, March 31.
There is both matinee and evening shows and tickets are on sale now, priced between £24-£59, online at www.aberdeenperformingarts.com, in person at the Aberdeen Box Office at His Majesty’s Theatre, or by calling 01224 641122.