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Banker Bobby Child (Christopher Dorf) and Nevada theater owner Polly Baker (Susannah Metzger) find love, Gershwin music and a lot of dancing in the Baylor Theatre musical “Crazy For You.”

Staff photo — Jerry Larson

The remaining performances of Baylor Theatre's "Crazy For You" are sold out and that's a good and bad thing - good in that sellouts are always good for a theater and bad in that this confection of an entertainment has an end.

Crammed with infectious dancing, full-blown and inventive production numbers, about a dozen of George and Ira Gershwin's memorable songs and a sustained electric charge over its two-and-a-half hours, Baylor's "Crazy For You" is a prime example why light-hearted entertainment will never disappear from the stage.

The storyline, written by Ken Ludwig, finds New Yorker Bobby Child (Christopher Dorf), heir to a banking family but a frustrated theater performer at heart, traveling to the dusty Nevada town Deadrock to foreclose on a former theater.

He's escaping his domineering mother (Ramzi Kelly) and equally pushy fiancee Irene Roth (Christina Austin), but stumbles into love at first sight when he meets fresh-faced but strong-willed Polly Baker (Susannah Metzger), whose father Everett (Noah Patten) owns the building in question.

Love must find  a way and Child dreams up a plan to save the building with a musical fundraiser populated by the Zangler Girls, the musical revue dancers of New York theater producer Bela Zangler (Jack McAfee), and Deadrock's laggard cowboys, who take a liking to working out with showgirls headed by lead dancers Tess (the triple-talented Rachel Cendrick, a standout) and Patsy (an also strong Evie Kunch).

When Polly resists the banker's advances, he takes on Zangler's identity, for whom she falls. The complications get twisted further when Irene, then Zangler himself show up.

The storyline, however, merely exists to hang songs and dance routines on and that's where the fun is. 

Choreographer Meredith Sutton takes advantage of some of the deepest dancing talent seen in a Baylor production to craft several elaborate and creative tap dance numbers, gorgeously costumed with flair by costume designer Dominique Rhea Glaros and her crew.

A show-stopping, extended "I've Got Rhythm" sequence had dancers tapping on trays and corrugated metal panels, as well as swinging on pick axes while "Slap That Bass" featured cord-stretching women dancers doubling as human string basses.

There's even tap dancing atop car roofs thanks to a clever prop car with built-in elevator and a charming cast of fantasy chorus girls inside.

Dorf, with a gentle tenor and an uncomplicated dancing style, and Metzger, a sweet singer and strong dancer, provide the romantic shoulders on which the story hangs, smiling all the way.

McAfee as Zangler and Lucas McCutchen as Deadrock's drawling saloon owner Lank Hawkins add a touch of comedy with their roles as do Austin as the aggressively seductive Irene and Graham Bryant and Heidi Keck as the globe-trotting English couple the Fodors.

This all adds up to quite a few balls to juggle in the air and director Aaron Brown proves an able magician, keeping the action moving and energy high without anything falling to the floor that's not meant to.

The cast singing and full orchestration show good preparation from music director Guilherme Almeida and vocal director Melissa Johnson. "Crazy For You," as any good musical or play, shows why theater is considered a collaborative art.

"Crazy For You" continues with sold out performances at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at Baylor's Hooper-Schaefer Fine Arts Center. Call 710-1865 for ticket availability and waiting list.

Tribune-Herald entertainment editor