Falkirk Bohemians take a trip to 1930s America in Crazy For You - review

Falkirk Bohemians are taking audiences back to the days of cowpokes, saloons, showgirls and, of course, the music of Gershwin in their latest show at Falkirk Town Hall.

Crazy For You is the story of how a stagestruck boy meets a feisty girl - who just happens to own a delapidated theatre that needs saving.

You can see where it’s going - straight back to the glamour and energy of those high kicking chorus lines of 1930s America. But the journey is via of song, dance, great characters and hearty laughs - after all, the path of true love can’t possibly be expected to run smoothly.

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Leading man Iain Davidson is introduced to us as the dreamy, unbusinesslike Bobby Child, who just wants to sing and dance, whatever his formidable banker mother (Karen Ross) might say.

His adventures take him to Deadrock, Nevada - where the fun really starts where - for complicated reasons - he has to disguise himself as maestro Bela Zangler (Gordon Gallagher) and persuade a troupe of glamorous showgirls to join him in the decaying town.

I don’t want to give anything away but this show involves two Bela Zanglers and let’s just say both of them have some hilarious comedy moments.

Iain pulls off being both leading man and comedy character with aplomb - with a lovely singing voice too.

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The Gershwin songs have been woven into the plot which means they sometimes feel a bit separate to the action, but when you’ve got songs of this quality - I Got Rythm, Embraceable You - that’s no problem.

Musical director Jonny Graham and his band should take an extra bow for the tight, jazzy accompaniement - I don’t know if FTH’s refurbishment included a new sound system, but I’ve never heard a show orchestra sound so good there.

Kirsty Meikle, who gives a great performance as the feisty Polly Baker, has a couple of Gershwin classics including the stunning ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’.

The close harmonies of the cowpokes are lovely - indeed, the supporting characters are all excellent.

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In particular, Rebecca Anderson as Irene is brilliant in her ‘Naughty Baby’ number, where she and Lank (Colin Fawkes) milk the laughs.

And there’s some shameless scene stealing from Kenny Walker and Katie Gardiner as the Fodors, whose antics the audience absolutely loved!

It’s the fantastic big chorus numbers, led by the sparkling Follies, that really get the audience cheering as ‘I Got Rhythm’ soars and the stage is alight with colour and movement.

Artistic director Gavin Orr and choreographer Christie Gowans have created a real spectacle with this show in which every single cast member gives it their all.

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Music, laughter, song, dance – who could ask for anything more?

Characters Bobby Child, Iain Davidson; Polly Baker, Kirsty Meikle; Bela Zangler, Gordon Gallagher; Irene Roth, Rebecca Anderson; Lank Hawkins, Colin Fawkes; Everett Baker, Chris Brooks; Eugene Fodor, Kenny Walker; Mrs Lottie Child, Karen Ross; Chauffeur/Harry, Dominic Carr; stage manager, Shelley McLaren.

Cowpokes and hillbillies: Custus, David Young; Pete, Roslyn Fricker; Wyatt, Darren Jalland; Billy, Louise Hartland; Junior, Joyce Gallacher; Moose, Janice Gray; Mingo, Emma Davidson; Jimmy/Perkins, Kevin O’Raw.

The Follies: Tess, Lisa Goldie; Patsy, Alexandra Kerr; Mitzi, Lois McNinch; Betsy, Laura Stewart; Louise, Rebecca English; Susie, Stephanie Bruce; Elaine, Yvonne Dickson; Sheila, Emma Christie; Daisy, Gemma MacDonald; Vera, Karen Chambers; Margie, Victoria Fulton; Betty, Samantha Davidson.

New York and Nevada ensemble: Stephanie Beglin, Niamh Brooks, Lindsey Dewar, Katie Gardiner, Lucinda Hamilton, Rebecca Hardie, Karen Ross, Leigh-Anne Struthers.

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