Book : Ken Ludwig
Crazy for You is a musical with a book by Ken Ludwig, lyrics by Ira Gershwin, and music by George Gershwin. Billed as "The New Gershwin Musical Comedy", it is largely based on the songwriting team's 1930 musical, Girl Crazy, but interpolates songs from several other productions as well. Crazy for You won the 1992 Tony Award for Best Musical.
Backstage at the Zangler Theater in New York in the 1930s, the last performance of the Zangler Follies is wrapping up for the season and Tess, the Dance Director, is dodging the advances of the married Bela Zangler. Also backstage, Bobby Child, the rich son of a banking family, is hoping for an audition with Mr. Zangler. He performs "Crazy for You," but fails to impress Zangler.
Outside the theater, Bobby is met by Irene, his wealthy fiancee whom he doesn't want to marry, and then by his mother who inists that Bobby go to Deadrock, Nevada to foreclose on a rundown theatre. As the women argue over him, Bobby chooses Deadrock over Irene and hurries off to Grand Central Station.
When Bobby arrives in Deadrock, it is clear that the coal-mining town has seen better days. The men, who are cowboys, sing "Bidin' My Time" in a long, slow drawl. Everett Baker, owner of the Gaiety Theater, receives a letter from New York warning of the bank foreclosing on the theater. The only woman left in this town is Everett's daughter, Polly Baker, who vows to get even with Bobby Child if she ever meets him.
Lank Hawkins, proprietor of the town's Saloon and a "man of vision" argues with Everett, trying to convince him to sell the theater before the bank takes it. The stubborn old man refuses to give up the theater on the memory of Polly's mother being the star of all the theater's old shows.
Bobby, entering the town almost dying of thirst, falls in love with Polly at first sight, not realizing who she is. Lank is not pleased to see a rival for Polly's affections. Later, on the stage of the Gaiety Theater, Bobby finds himself in quite a bind. If he forecloses on the theater he will lose the girl of his dreams. Inspired, he comes up with the idea of putting on a show to pay off the mortgage. Polly agrees to this plan until she finds out who he is "that banker from New York!". Heartbroken, Polly flees in tears, never wanting to see him again. Bobby too, is heartbroken, when suddenly, spying a trunk of costumes, decides to put on the show anyway... but disguised as "Bela Zangler."
A few days later, ten glamorous Follies Girls on vacation appear like a mirage in the desert. Bobby has asked them to help stage a spectacular show in Deadrock. When the men of Deadrock see the girls, the sleepy town becomes very lively. Lank Hawkins continues to express extreme dislike for the show, threatening to shoot "Zangler" (Bobby).
Rehearsals for the show are not going well and the Cowboys in particular are terrible dancers. Bobby changes all that in the course of one rehearsal with the song "Slap That Bass". Spirits are now at a high point. Meanwhile, to Bobby's dismay, Irene arrives, threatening to expose Bobby's charade, while Polly has fallen in love with Bobby's impersonation of Zangler.
Opening night arrives, with everyone in high hopes. Sadly, everyone is disappointed to find that the only people to arrive are Eugenia and Patricia Fodor, British tourists writing a guidebook on the American West. What starts out as a disappointment changes into the realization that the show has galvanized the once-sleepy town, making it lively and spirited. They celebrate with "I Got Rhythm" while the real Zangler stumbles un-noticed into the town, almost dehydrated and collapses.
In Lank's saloon, Bobby is professing his love to Polly. Unfortunately, she is still in love with the man who she thinks is Zangler. Bobby is about to convince Polly that he has been impersonating "Zangler" when the real Zangler stumbles into the saloon looking for Tess. Zangler finds Tess, but refuses her request to produce the show. Tess storms off and Zangler, now drunk after being disgusted by the town, bemoans his fate. Bobby, dressed like Zangler to prove to Polly that he wasn't lying, reels out of his room, also drunk. The two men lament their lost loves.
The next morning, Polly sees the two Zanglers and realizes what has happened. She slaps Bobby and leaves in a huff, while the townsfolk prepare for a meeting at the theater to discuss what to do with the show. Irene comes to Bobby in one final attempt to make him go back to New York with her, but Bobby rejects her, and states his love for Polly. Immensely frustrated with Bobby, Irene seduces Lank.
The townsfolk are all now gathered at the theatre. Bobby is all for trying the show again, while Polly thinks they should abandon the venture. The Fodors counsel the dejected townspeople to keep a "Stiff Upper Lip," but by the end of the song, only Polly, Everett, Bobby, and Tess still think the show should continue.
Everyone but Bobby and Polly leave the theater; Bobby prepares to leave for New York, professing that his memories of Polly will never fade in "They Can't Take That Away from Me." Polly realizes, too late, that she does love Bobby, and after he leaves, laments her loss in "But Not For Me."
Meanwhile, Bela Zangler decides to put on the show as a favor to Tess; the two seem to be in love once more. Although he had been planning to cast Bobby as the lead, he makes Polly the star of the show after learning that Bobby has left for New York.
Six weeks later, Bobby is still thinking of Deadrock as he works for his mother's bank. For his birthday, Mrs. Child gives him the Zangler theater (Zangler has used all his money on the show in Deadrock). While initially ecstatic, Bobby realizes that his love for Polly is worth more and leaves for Deadrock to pursue her.
Meanwhile, Polly has decided to leave for New York to look for Bobby, who enters Deadrock just after she leaves. After learning that Polly has left to find him, he leaves the stage before driving back to New York to catch her. Bobby's mother and Irene (who is now married to Lank) notice each other, and start an argument. Everett notices Mrs. Child, and falls head-over-heels in love with her. His affections are reciprocated, and immediately afterwards, Polly reenters with Custus, one of the cowboys. Custus is trying to give Polly a ride to the station, but his car has run out of gas, and she has missed the train to New York. Together the townspeople concoct a plan, and Polly and Bobby are finally reunited in the "Finale."