Crazy For You
by Class Act Productions

It’s the “New Gershwin Musical” – a jukebox musical of famous Gershwin tunes set to a book by comic playwright Ken Ludwig with a “let’s put on a show” 1930s-style story. It’s Crazy For You, filled with great dancing, good comedy, and an amazing score including Embraceable You, Someone to Watch Over Me, They Can’t Take That Away from Me, Nice Work If You Can Get It, They Can’t Take That Away from Me, and I Got Rhythm. And Class Act Productions had plenty of rhythm with their cast pulled from the talent-rich area around The Woodlands, Texas where I was given a chance to catch their final dress rehearsal.

The story centers on Bobby Child, a young man yearning to make it on Broadway while his mom is demanding he follow the family’s tradition and become a banker. When Bobby’s impromptu audition for legendary director Bela Zangler goes terribly awry (Bobby dances right into him), Bobby gets sent by the bank from NYC to Deadrock, Nevada to foreclose on the local theatre. Something he’ll never do once he discovers that the theatre (now being used as a post office) is owned by the young and beautiful and tough and theatre-loving Polly Baker and her widowed father. Can Bobby save the theatre from foreclosure by bringing a big show to Deadrock? And can Polly Baker learn to love the man who was sent to foreclose on her beloved theatre? Well, maybe if he disguises himself as Bela Zangler…

Michael Hanna, just graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, stars as the charismatic Bobby Child who, along with his Follies Girls, really kicks things off with the well-staged I Can’t Be Bothered Now in which he dutifully follows his mother and girlfriend Irene into the car, and then starts his show fantasy in which he rises up through the roof of the car, dances on the roof and hood, then lets one follies girl out of the engine compartment before opening the car door to let a dozen of them dance their way out of the car and into his big fantasy musical number.

Then we’re off to Deadrock where bored cowboys and cowgirls are lazily Biding’ My Time while Polly Baker is not-so-lazily reacting to the news that the bank is on their way to foreclose. Whitney Brandt of the nearby John Cooper School stars as Polly, a great singer and terrific dancer with a dose of country spunk as she battles for her late mother’s beloved theatre. She delivers on her Someone To Watch Over Me and But Not For Me solos, as well as the two leads working nicely together in their classic song-and-dance duets like Embraceable You.

A few other highlights include Lauren Lawson as Bobby’s steely, determined girlfriend Irene Roth who becomes an even more determined Naughty Baby with saloon owner Lank Hawkins (featuring Sean Rooney as an amusing entrepreneurial type with a Southern drawl). As the eccentric Zangler, Keith Hale shines in his What Causes That? duet with Bobby as the two drunken look-alikes mirror each other’s movements with good and humorous precision. Brad Rizzo and Megan Doyle are Eugene and Patricia Fodor, intrepid travel brochure writers who have quirky appeal as they try to be upbeat and polite whatever the awkward circumstance. Zachary Tavlin, Aaron Boudreaux, and George Downham lead the laidback cowboys, while Laurelyn Kofhage as Tess and Katlin Newman as a ditzy Patsy lead the talented Follies Girls – joining with a remarkable group of younger girl dancers to make up an exceptional ensemble who all combine behind Polly for a huge, fun, and dynamic I Got Rhythm to close out the first act.

It all takes place within some impressive NYC and Deadrock sets by Jonathan Shelledy, including the cool car. Choreography Tony Smith has put together some lively routines throughout including a charming Stiff Upper Lip and of course, the big I Got Rhythm, assuring Director Keith Brumfield that his final dress rehearsal is going to turn into a fantastic opening night.

Performed July 17 - 25, 2009 

Rob Hopper
National Youth Theatre

~ Cast ~
Tess: Laurelyn Korfhage
Patsy: Katlin Newman
Bobby Child: Michael Hanna
Bela Zangler: Keith Hale
Sheila: Becky Schwartz
Mitzi: Anastasia Craig
Susie: Alison Gieske
Louise: Katelyn Mattingly
Betsy: Bailey Baker
Margie: Mallory Kohut
Vera: Emily Schwartz
Elaine: Sharon Joncyk
Judy: Madeline Anderson
Vicky: Jenny Bates
Dottie: Heather Garsen
Glory: Cassidy Levine
Follies Girls:
Meredith Bechtel
Rachel Fritz
Caroline Giles
Madisen Plum
Catherine Zirilli
Irene Roth: Lauren Lawson
Mother: Caitlin Lashier
Perkins: Logan Prewitt
Chauffeur: Chris Dolphin
Moose: Zachary Tavlin
Mingo: Aaron Boudreaux
Sam: George Downham
Junior: Andrew Hollinger
Custus: Nathan Sewell
Pete: Devin Sewell
Jimmy: Casey Hale
Wyatt: Aaron Evans
Billy: Brad Rizzo
Dave: Chris Dolphin
Harry: Jack Wheeler
Polly Baker: Whitney Brandt
Everett Baker: Alex McCauley
Lank Hawkins: Sean Rooney
Eugene Fodor: Brad Rizzo
Patricia Fodor: Megan Doyle

Citizens of Deadrock:
Devin Cherry
Brynn Cox
Katie Gonzalez
Chandler Harvey
Melissa Hill
Megan Kenworthy
Logan Prewitt
Anika Sutter

Follies Kids:
Jenny Gee
Noelle Hall
Shelly Harper
Alana Johnson
Asia Kreitz
Kameryn Mattingly
Natalie Mattner
Kelly Ann McDermott
Mandy Miller
Ann Rabich
Sidney Sirdashney
Shelby Thompson

Producer/Director: Keith Brumfield
Musical Director: Rae Moses
Choreography: Tony Smith
Stage Manager: Dominick DeMatteo
Lighting Design: Blake Minor
Sound: Daniel Karr, Chris Taylor
Set Design: Jonathan Shelledy
Scenic Artist: Joan Rothammer
Costume Design: Caroline Zirilli
Makeup and Hair Design: Kirsten Berger


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