by Ann Greer
“Crazy for You” is a paean to classic stage and movie musicals, starting with George and Ira Gershwin’s “Girl Crazy.” Ken Ludwig’s zany, nostalgic book fills the stage with denizens of New York society and show business bumping up against miners and cowboys in a Nevada town that has seen better days.
Ashley Spencer as Polly Baker (center) and the ensemble
Bobby Child (Danny Gardner), heir to a real estate fortune, is more interested in tap dancing than making deals. When his frustrated mother sends him to Nevada to get what they’re due on a grand old theater, Bobby decides instead to put on a show to save the building. (If you’re thinking Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland, yes, there’s also a 1943 film version of “Girl Crazy.”) While there, Bobby falls for the reluctant Polly Baker (Ashley Spencer), and much singing and dancing ensues to finally get the two together.
Ashley Spencer as Polly Baker, Danny Gardner as Bobby Child
Of course, it takes more than accomplished singers and dancers to make a production like “Crazy for You” work. All 26 characters have to be appropriately dressed, several with multiple costumes. Signature’s Costume Director Frederick Deeben and Associate Costume Director Natalie Kurczewski were responsible for making it happen, and provided the following numbers.
Polly has eight costumes, seven of which required about six years of fabric. Her final dress, a gorgeous white evening dress that flows and swirls as she dances, has nearly 20 yards of fabric.
The eight showgirls also have eight costume changes each, including velvet skirts that used 12 total yards of fabric.
The eight miners/cowboys have three to four costume changes each.
Socialite Irene Roth (Natascia Diaz) and Bobby each have five different looks.
Cole Burden as Lank Hawkins and Natascia Diaz as Irene Roth
The costume department also had to come up with:
75 pairs of shoes
29 showgirl headpieces
15 women’s hats and 12 men’s hats
Danny Gardner as Bobby Child, Sherri Edelen as Fodor,
Ashley Spencer as Polly Baker, and the ensemble
“Crazy for You,” is at Signature Theatre through January 14, 2018. (Click here to get a sneak peek.) Tickets: sigtheatre.org or 703-820-9771.
Photos by C. Stanley Photography.
Ann Greer has covered culture in the DC region for The Washington Post, Capitol File magazine, and WAMU-FM, among others. She was the first online theater critic in the DC region, for AOL Digital City Washington.