CARNOUSTIE Musical Society’s latest offering is a feast for the eyes and ears worthy of their centenary celebrations.
With the final performance of George and Ira Gershwin’s ‘Crazy for you’ tonight (Friday) all of the blood, sweat and tears that go into making a show a spectacle have paid off.
The story revolves around the ‘will they, won’t they’ relationship of country girl Polly Baker, played by Claire Laing, and New York playboy Bobby Child, played by Claire’s real-life husband Kevin Smith.
Jennifer Ogilvie gives Bobby’s mother Lottie’s snappy put-downs the right amount of bite for the owner of a large New York bank.
Lottie sends Bobby out west to Deadrock, Nevada to foreclose on an ailing theatre where he meets Polly and in the space of a few songs the two fall in love and almost immediately fall out when Polly realises why Bobby is in town.
Bobby hatches a plan to revive the theatre, by impersonating Broadway maestro Bella Zangler, true to form Polly falls for fake-Zangler just in time for the arrival of the real Zangler, played with hilarious befuddlement by Michael Burns.
Neil Watson steamrolls through the part of Lank Hawkins, ambitious saloon owner and Bobby’s love rival, with plenty of shoutin’ an’ cussin’.
Joanna Fitzgerald plays Irene, Bobby’s neglected fiance who pursues him to Deadrock, briefly attempts to derail his scheme and then falls head over heels for Lank, culminating in the sultry ‘Naughty baby’ number.
The show also featured some familiar favourites such as ‘Nice work if you can get it’, ‘Embraceable you’, ‘I got rhythm’ and ‘Someone to watch over me’.
Singing talent and comic timing extends beyond the principals, with the trio of Sam (Gary Cavanagh), Moose (Brian Boyd) and Mingo (Chris Jukes) giving plenty of laughs and tunes as a bunch of dopey no-hope cowpokes.
Delusional guidebook writers Eugene and Patricia Fodor add to the comic element with some zany public school accents and jaunty tune ‘Stiff upper lip’.
There are whip-cracking one-liners from the likes of Follies Tess (Katy Mackintosh), Patsy (Jane McNamara) and Mitzi (Kerry Mitchell) and cowboy Harry (Connor Berg).
All of the cast are involved in quite complex choreography, giving Kevin Smith an opportunity to show off his tap skills, but the mainstay of the dancing was performed flawlessly by Zangler’s Follies, who could easily have passed for the real thing in their period costumes.
Susan Kydd’s sense of style saw the cast kitted out in eye-catching costumes that reinforce the period setting brilliantly.
The scenery and props produced by Society members were all of a high calibre and the backdrops from Border Studios were excellent.
Back stage appeared to run incredibly smoothly under the guidance of stage manager Ali Laing and the scene changes were fast and efficient.
Carnoustie Musical Society will next be showcasing their talents at the Diamond Jubilee celebrations at Glamis Castle in May, followed by the third Comrie Cabaret in September.