Crazy for You - Chichester Festival Theatre

Susan Stroman to direct Crazy For You at Chichester starring Charlie Stemp

Tony Award winning Broadway director and choreographer Susan Stroman is coming to the UK this year to direct a new revival of smash-hit musical Crazy for You.

Produced by Chichester Festival Theatre and timed to celebrate their 60th anniversary season and the 30th anniversary of the show, Crazy For You will star Charlie Stemp as Bobby, who returns to Chichester following his breakout debut in Half a Sixpence in 2016.

Stemp is currently starring as Bert in Mary Poppins at the Prince Edward Theatre in London, and will leave the show on 19 June 2022, to be replaced by Louis Gaunt from 22 June. Producers Cameron Mackintosh and Disney Theatrical Productions have left it open whether Stemp will return to the show.

Other casting for Crazy For You includes Tom Edden as Follies impresario Bela Zangler, although there’s no news on who will play the female lead, Polly.

Crazy For You will run at Chichester from 11 July to 4 September 2022.

Directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman, she returns to the show after choreographing the original 1992 Broadway production directed by Mike Ockrent. The first West End production was in 1993 at the Prince Edward Theatre, directed by Ockrent, choreographed by Stroman, and starring Ruthie Henshall, Kirby Ward, and Chris Langham.

The creative team also includes set design by Beowulf Boritt, costume designer by William Ivey Long, lighting design by Ken Billington, musical direction by Alan Williams, new orchestrations by Doug Besterman and Mark Cumberland, original orchestrations by William David Brohn, sound design by Kai Harada, new arrangements by David Krane, original arrangements by Peter Howard and casting by Jill Green CDG.

Crazy For You features music and lyrics by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin, a book by Ken Ludwig, co-conception by Ken Ludwig and Mike Ockrent, and is inspired by material by Guy Bolton and John McGowan.

The show is full of Gershwin melodies, including Someone to Watch Over Me, Embraceable You, I Got Rhythm and They Can’t Take That Away from Me, and features a succession of glorious tap-dance routines.

The plot of the show centres on theatre-mad Bobby Child, who is torn between his show-business dreams and his rich, demanding New York fiancée and rich, demanding New York mother who want him to run the family bank. On his mother’s insistence, he reluctantly heads west for the bygone mining town of Deadrock, Nevada, to foreclose on a mortgage. There he finds the mortgage in question is on a dilapidated Victorian theatre and the owner’s daughter Polly is the girl of his dreams. Desperate to prove his good faith and win her love, Bobby lights on the idea of putting on a show – complete with glamorous dancers from New York’s Follies – to save the theatre and renew the town…

Stroman is at the top of the Broadway tree, having won five Tony and two Olivier Awards for productions including The Producers, Contact and The Scottsboro Boys.

Charlie Stemp plays Bobby, returning to Chichester where he played Arthur Kipps in Half A Sixpence in 2016, for which he won the WhatsOnStage Award for Best Actor in a Musical and received Olivier and UK Theatre Award nominations. The production transferred to the West End, and was recently broadcast on Sky Arts as Kipps – The New Half A Sixpence Musical. He has starred on Broadway in Hello, Dolly! opposite Bette Midler and Bernadette Peters, and at the London Palladium in Dick Whittington, Snow White and Pantoland at the Palladium. He is currently playing Bert in Mary Poppins in the West End, for which he received his second Olivier Award nomination.

Tom Edden makes his Chichester debut as Bela Zangler; he received a Drama Desk Award and Tony Award nomination for One Man, Two Guvnors at the NT, West End and on Broadway, and his extensive work also includes Cyrano de Bergerac, Matilda, The Pinter Season and Les Misérables in the West End, Amadeus at the NT and Oliver! at Sheffield Crucible.

Book tickets to Mary Poppins at the Prince Edward Theatre in London

Book tickets to Crazy For You at the Gillian Lynne Theatre in London

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📷 Main photo: Crazy for You - Chichester Festival Theatre

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