In the seats: Call me a theater nerd
Ryan Summerlin November 14, 2012
ASPEN – I try not to go too heavy on the “Oh, the advantages you have over my childhood” with my 13-year-old daughter. But the fact is she has “Modern Family,” while I had “The Brady Bunch.” She’s got Video On Demand and iPhone, whereas I prayed something half-decent would show on the Sunday Movie of the Week; she has C.P. Burger a few blocks away, while I had to beg my older cousin to haul us to McDonald’s. She has Aspen Mountain a three-minute bus ride away, while I got to schlep an hour to ski – at night, on ice, with long lift lines – at New Jersey’s Vernon Valley.
I’m honestly glad Olivia has all those privileges. But I did find myself genuinely jealous the other day when she told me that she was going, for a second time, to see Aspen Community Theatre’s production of “Crazy for You.” I thought for a minute about asking if I could tag along with her and her best friend.
Yes, I had seen the show already, on opening night Thursday, but “Crazy for You” (which concludes its run with performances tonight through Sunday at the Aspen District Theatre) is the kind of easy-to-hug treat that I bet would be even better the second and third times.
The ACT folks have been billing it as old-fashioned Broadway: loads of spalshy dance numbers, songs that you can start humming midway through your first time hearing them, clear-cut good guys and bad guys, a simple story that’s implausible in a dozen different ways. And it is all that – but done as impeccably as ACT does it, old-school musical theater rises to the level of sublime.
John Goss’ tap-dancing, Tom Ward’s ingenious sets, Bob Finnie conducting the orchestra in Gerswhin’s memorable songs, the parade of costumes and cars, the extended “I Got Rhythm” sequence: Who could ask for anything more? Except maybe seeing “Crazy for You” one more time.