Amish Acres

Amish Acres® Historic Farm and Heritage Resort is Listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It is America's most complete Amish heritage experience featuring historic interpretation, culinary and performing arts, lodging, and shopping.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Casey and Casanova dance Gershwins to life in “Crazy for You”

There are no essay questions when it comes to tap dancing. Like a math problem, there’s only one right answer. Either you got it or you don’t.

The cast of “Crazy For You,” currently playing at the Round Barn Theatre at Amish Acres in Nappanee, has got it. They’ll have you believing that a passel of cowpokes from Deadrock, Nevada, can dance every bit as purty as four show girls from New York City because that’s just the way it is!

They’ll have you believing that love sorts things out so that whether or not you’ve been engaged to someone you don’t love who won’t leave you alone for five long years, all it takes is a moment for eyes to meet for everyone to get sorted out with the right person to make the perfect couple.

They’ll have you believing you had a great time humming along with familiar classics by George and Ira Gershwin, songs like “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” “Embraceable You,” “They Can’t Take That Away From Me,” and of course “I’ve Got Rhythm.”

“Crazy for You,” though first produced in 1992, is set in the 1930’s, and is loosely based on the Gershwin show “Girl Crazy.” Though it is a largely feel good show, it is a product of the Depression, a desperate time of foreclosures and business failures. This desperation undergirds the show, adding a strong backbone to the plot.

The musical tells the story of Bobby Child, who would rather dance regardless of what it pays rather than learn banking skills, including how to foreclose on people’s dreams, under the tutelage of his dominating mother.

Temporarily giving in, he arrives in Deadrock, Nevada, in order to foreclose on an old theater when he realizes he can save the theater if only some Broadway dance girls join forces with some rugged cowboys to put on a show. In order to snare the girl of his dreams, Polly Baker, who happens to hate him because of that foreclosure thing, Bobby adopts the persona of scowling director Bela Zanger. Zanger himself shows up about the same time everyone in the show realizes there’s no audience to be had when you live in the middle of nowhere. Will the show go on? Comedy ensues!

Matt Casey, as Bobby Child, the dancer with the dream, sings and dances so effortlessly that you almost believe anyone could do the same. He and Kaitlyn Casanova, the cowgirl with a heart of gold who with her father stands to lose the town’s only theater to creditors, make a winsome couple. Casanova has demonstrated her astounding range as a singer throughout this season at the Round Barn.

James Edward Dauphin, who plays the European director Zangler, performs a real star turn as the artiste’s artiste who knows a good thing when he finds it. His scene with Casey, who as Childs has dressed as Zangler to win his girls’ heart, is a classic as the two mirror each other in a dazed stupor.

Kayla Ricker is memorable as the tigress who finds happiness by bringing her prey to heel. Rory Dunn plays the cantankerous saloon keeper Lank, her hapless and ultimately happy prey.