The Broadway production was directed by Mike Ockrent and choreographed by Susan Stroman. After 10 previews, it opened at the Shubert Theatre on February 19, 1992 and ran for 1,622 performances. The cast included Jodi Benson as Polly, Harry Groener as Bobby Child, Bruce Adler as Bela Zangler, John Hillner as Lank Hawkins, Michele Pawk as Irene Roth, Jane Connell as Mother, Beth Leavel as Tess (Leavel also understudied Benson), Ronn Carroll as Everett Baker, and Stephen Temperley and Amelia White as Eugene and Patricia Fodor. The Manhattan Rhythm Kings played cowboys Mingo, Moose, and Sam, singing in their trademark close harmony.
In his review in The New York Times, Frank Rich enthused, “When future historians try to find the exact moment at which Broadway finally rose up to grab the musical back from the British, they just may conclude that the revolution began last night. The shot was fired at the Shubert Theater, where a riotously entertaining show called Crazy for You uncorked the American musical’s classic blend of music, laughter, dancing, sentiment and showmanship with a freshness and confidence rarely seen during the Cats decade . . . Crazy for You scrapes away decades of cabaret and jazz and variety-show interpretations to reclaim the Gershwins’ standards, in all their glorious youth, for the dynamism of the stage.”
A cast album was released by Angel Records.
The West End production, directed by Ockrent, choreographed by Stroman, and starring Ruthie Henshall, Kirby Ward, and Chris Langham, opened at the Prince Edward Theatre on March 3, 1993 and ran for nearly three years .
On October 20, 1999, the PBS series Great Performances broadcast a production directed by Matthew Diamond, who was nominated for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Direction of a Variety or Music Program.
On October 18th 2009, a showtime challenge, charity gala performance of Crazy For You directed by Katherine Hare and choreographed by Racky Plews was staged by Eyebrow Productions at the London Palladium. Eyebrow are well known for their unique Showtime Challenges, where all aspects of the show are rehearsed and performed in 48 hours. All proceeds went to Cecily's Fund.  .
K-ra-zy for You (from Treasure Girl)
I Can't Be Bothered Now (from A Damsel in Distress)
Bidin' My Time (from Girl Crazy)
Things Are Looking Up (from A Damsel in Distress)
Could You Use Me (from Girl Crazy)
Shall We Dance? (from Shall We Dance)
Entrance to Nevada (Bronco Busters)
Someone to Watch Over Me (from Oh, Kay)
Slap That Bass (from Shall We Dance)
Embraceable You (from Girl Crazy)
Tonight's the Night (Lyrics By Gus Kahn and Ira Gershwin)
I Got Rhythm (from Girl Crazy)
The Real American Folk Song Is a Rag (from Ladies First)
What Causes That? (from Treasure Girl)
Naughty Baby (Music by Desmond Carter)
Stiff Upper Lip (from A Damsel in Distress)
They Can't Take That Away from Me (from Shall We Dance)
But Not For Me (from Girl Crazy)
But Not for Me (Reprise)
New York Interlude (Concerto in F)
Nice Work If You Can Get It (from A Damsel in Distress)
Bidin' My Time (French Reprise)
Things Are Looking Up (Reprise)
The curtain opens 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 Mr. Zangler. Bobby Child, the rich son of a banking family, is backstage hoping for an audition with Zangler. Bobby performs "Crazy for You," but fails to impress Zangler after landing on Zangler's toe during the final flourish of his dance routine. Dejected, Bobby heads outside.
Bobby is met by Irene, the wealthy woman to whom he has been engaged for five years, and then by his mother who demands that Bobby carry out her piece of banking business for her. Bobby is told to go to Deadrock, Nevada, to foreclose on a rundown theatre. As the women argue over him, Bobby imagines dancing with the Follies Girls and joins them in a rousing rendition of "I Can't Be Bothered Now." Brought back to reality, Bobby decides to escape to Nevada.
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 receives a letter from New York warning of the bank foreclosing on the Gaiety Theater. The only woman left in this forlorn town is Everett's daughter, the spunky Polly Baker, who vows to get even with Bobby Child if she ever meets him.
Bobby enters the town, almost dying of thirst, and falls in love with Polly at first sight, not realizing who she is, and expresses his excitement in "Things Are Looking Up." Lank Hawkins, the owner of Deadrocks Saloon, and ardent suitor of Polly, is not pleased to see a rival for Polly's affections.
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! Bobby is heartbroken, but he decides to put on the show anyway, disguised as Zangler. Polly, deeply hurt, expressed her loneliness in "Someone to Watch Over Me."
A few days later, ten Follies Girls on vacation from The Zangler Follies 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 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, and Polly has fallen in love with Bobby's impersonation of Zangler. She expresses her love for Zangler with the song "Embraceable You."
Opening night arrives, but everyone is disappointed to find that the only people to arrive into the town are Eugene 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. They celebrate with a spirited rendition of "I Got Rhythm" while the real Zangler stumbles un-noticed into the town.
Act Two opens in Lank's saloon where 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, Zangler, now drunk after being disgusted by the town, bemoans his fate. Bobby, dressed like Zangler, reels in to drown his sorrow over losing Polly. The two men act as mirror images of each other, and lament their lost loves in "What Causes That."
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, immensely frustrated with Bobby, seduces Lank in "Naughty Baby".
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," which includes a parody of the barricade scene from Les Misérables 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.
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 in "Nice Work if You Can Get It," and leaves for Deadrock with Mrs. Child to pursue her.
Polly, meanwhile, has decided to leave for New York to look for Bobby, who enters Deadrock just after she leaves. As he leaves the stage to "wash up" 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, as shown in a reprise of "Things Are Looking Up." 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. The townspeople concoct a plan, and Polly and Bobby are reunited in the "Finale."
Note: While Eugene Fodor was the real-life founder of Fodor's Travel Guides, the character in the musical is highly fictionalized. The real Eugene Fodor was Hungarian-American, not British, and his first travel book was about Europe.
Awards and nominations
Tony Award for Best Musical (winner)
Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical (nominee)
Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical (Harry Groener, nominee)
Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical (Jodi Benson, nominee)
Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical (Bruce Adler, nominee)
Tony Award for Best Costume Design (William Ivey Long, winner)
Tony Award for Best Lighting Design (Paul Gallo, nominee)
Tony Award for Best Choreography (winner)
Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical (nominee)
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical (winner)
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical (Bruce Adler, nominee)
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical (Michele Pawk, nominee)
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Choreography (winner)
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Musical (nominee)
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Orchestration/Musical Adaptation (nominee)
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Costumes (nominee)
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Set Design (Robin Wagner, nominee)
Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical (winner)
Laurence Olivier Award for Best Director of a Musical (nominee)
Laurence Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreographer (winner)
Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical or Entertainment (Kirby Ward, nominee)
Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical or Entertainment (Ruthie Henshall, nominee)
Laurence Olivier Award for Best Supporting Performance in a Musical (Chris Langham, nominee)
Laurence Olivier Award for Best Set Designer (Robin Wagner, winner)