The views expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Sugar Factory Playhouse.
In a musical like “Crazy for You,” the music is (rightfully) a major focus of the show. And the dancing! Oh, the dancing! But the dialogue is full of gems for those that pay attention. Here are a few of my favorite quips and exchanges from the script of “Crazy for You.”
BOBBY: Mr. Zangler! Look, I-I-I realize I’m an unknown, here in New York. But I have potential! ZANGLER: Ya. You could be unknown all over America!
Bobby’s hungry for starring roles on the stage, but the Hungarian impresario he’s trying to impress, Bela Zangler, just isn’t impressed. The short-tempered, demanding showman isn’t afraid to show his disdain for the young hoofer, making it clear that he sees no potential in young Bobby. Zangler is straight-up savage.
MOTHER: Bobby, in the ten years since you left Harvard, you have accomplished nothing. IRENE: He got engaged to me. MOTHER: (To Bobby) You have accomplished less than nothing.
Bobby is engaged to Irene (who doesn’t understand Bobby’s yearnings for stardom), but Irene’s mother is not a fan of her future son-in-law, and she makes no bones about telling her daughter that she’s set to marry a nobody, even going so far as to try to talk Irene out of the impending nuptials. Poor Bobby just can’t catch a break. But that’s what makes for great character development, right? The hero’s story must start at a low point in order to ascend to greatness!
LANK: Perhaps you would tell us, sir, your views of the contemporary American stage. PETE: Heck, I dunno. LANK: “Heck, I don’t know.” I’d say that’s fairly trenchant. PETE: I s’pose you could say that Eugene O’Neill is just beginnin’ to explore the symbolism of Greek tragedy. O’ course, the realism of Anton Checkhov is still a pretty important influence. And then there’s Stanislavsky – LANK: Thank you!
Lank fashions himself as an up-and-coming entrepreneurial developer and obviously looks down on “lowly” Pete, who he sees as a dumb hick in a dumb hick town. But Pete is surprisingly culturally informed, spewing out his thoughts on a subject Lank thought would be outside Pete’s grasp. Just goes to show you can’t judge a book (or cowboy) by its cover!
ZANGLER: And somebody clean up this mess. It looks like French Revolution.
During a rousing performance of “Stiff Upper Lip,” Polly, Bobby, and the residents of Deadwood have piled chairs, tables, and benches into something amusingly reminiscent of the infamous barricade in another famous musical, “Les Misérables.” Once the music dies and everything calms down, Zangler says out loud what was already on the audience’s mind.
MOTHER: Where’s your head?! BOBBY: Deadrock. MOTHER: I didn’t ask what’s in it. What’s it thinking?
Having left behind the girl of his dreams in Deadrock, Nevada, Bobby’s feeling blue, prompting his mother to question why he’s so distracted. His response invites another biting one-liner from his mother.
“Crazy for You” runs July 11-22 at the Midvale Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $8 – $12.