Tap Dancing into Yesterday

Broadway's urge to rekindle musical popularity sends it rummaging relentlessly through old songs and scores

The opening and closing images in Crazy for You, a "new" Gershwin brothers musical that opened on Broadway last week, depict chorus girls in giant headdresses out of some Busby Berkeley-style fantasy. These shimmering daydreams, afloat in dark space, pay homage to a bygone Broadway and to the movies of the pre-World War II era that have preserved its style for latter- day audiences. Between the wistful glints of remembered magic unfolds a plot aptly concerning two moribund musical theaters, one on the Great White Way, the other in dusty Deadrock, Nev. In both cases the solution is said to be...