With the curtain rising Friday on the touring production of “Crazy for You,” the tuner arrives in Los Angeles with more than $ 2 million in advance sales for its three-month run at the Shubert.
The $ 4 million tour, which opened several weeks ago in Dallas, is a near replica of the 1992 Tony-winning Broadway production — minus an onstage elevator or two.
“There’s very little that we don’t have in this show that we do have in New York,” said Elizabeth Williams, who co-produced the tuner with Roger Horchow. “I think the magic of this show comes from a lot of extravagance.”
The show is about a young man who moves from the big city to a small Western town, opens a theatre and persistently vies for the affection of the town beauty.
From Ken Ludwig’s book and featuring a lineup of George Gershwin melodies, “Crazy” is the lavish song-and-dance kind of show that means big bucks on Broadway and big problems on the road.
“This first move (from Dallas to Los Angeles) will be a tricky one,” Williams said. “We wanted to give the same feel as the New York show, but that means a lot of big, heavy moving pieces.”
The only noticeable design change occurs during a fantasy dream sequence, she said, where the two main characters — played by James Brennan and Karen Ziemba — ascend on spiral staircases instead of rising in elevators.
In deciding whether to tour or put the tuner in one city for a long stretch, Williams and Horchow said they did not feel secure keeping it in one city.
And even the worries of touring an expensive musical in harsh economic times (the top ducat is $ 60) did not deter that decision.
“Even during the depression, people were willing to spend money to get away from it all for a few hours,” Horchow said.
With the New York show successfully on the boards and the tour getting under way, Horchow says he is hanging up his producer’s hat.
“I’ve seen how treacherous Broadway is. I’ve seen perfectly good plays close right up. I figured I better quit while I’m ahead.”