CRAZY FOR YOU hoofs up a Musical
CRAZY FOR YOU!
Where East meets West and falls in love to Gershwin favorites, and when “hoofing it up” in a western has nothing to do with horses.
Sayville High School Music and Drama departments’ presentation of the “new” Gershwin musical Crazy for You was a classic case of “seeing is believing.”
Unbelievable dancing, timeless show tunes, amazing vocals, outstanding orchestra, remarkable stage sets, and rib-tickling comic relief may describe each of the four (partially) doubled-casted productions, but no mere words can really do them all justice. Accepting the challenge anway to put it into words, here, if anything, goes:
New Yorker Bobby Child, (played every performance with grand style, natural humor, and great confidence by “triple-threat” talent Kenneth Murray), prefers the life of the stage and dreams of breaking free from the demands of his banking family—ruled by his mother, Lottie Child, (portrayed as a smothering nightmare by Elizabeth Larkin and as a domineering spitfire by Kayleigh Brennan)—and his tenacious fiancée, Irene Roth (rendered spicy hot by Brianna Gomez and with smoldering vivacity by Georgia Grant).
Disheveled, dusty, Bobby stumbles upon the sweltering Nevada town of Deadrock among slow-moving cowpokes Bidin My Time, when suddenly Things are Looking Up—he sees the spirited Polly Baker (engagingly portrayed by both the distinctive Kailey Schnurman and the remarkable Marra Kassman. No denying: they each “got” the requisite “rhythm and music” to perform the enduring Gershwin classics: Someone to Watch Over Me, I’ve Got Rhythm, Embraceable You, and But Not For Me.)
However, Polly will have nothing to do with Bobby who represents the evil bank that is foreclosing on the beloved theater owned by her father Everett(loveably depicted by Liam Hofmeister). Unable to win Polly’s favor, Bobby disguises himself as the famous follies producer Bela Zangler (the real Bela was played with hysterical zest by both Miles Whittaker and James Harlin) and enlists the help of dance director Tess (the energetic Kiera Muscara and the effervescent Catherine Rico) and the lively Zangler show girls and dancers (see list below). Even Zanglar’s featured singing sensations, the four Boswell Sisters (foursome: Samantha Schenkel, Danielle Post, Melina Guida, Kimberly Miller and foursome Stephanie Seredenko, Denise Natoli, Anna Corso, Elizabeth Larkin) whose lilting voices drew crowds out east, ventured west and joined in Bobby’s plan to put on a show and raise money for keeping the theater open.
What better way could there be to showcase another major “star” in Crazy for You —the amazing dance routines? Dominating center stage for most of the musical production is the stage-stomping magic conjured by Bobby and the Zangler Dancers. Their thunderous rhythms provide such visual entertainment and enhance the musical beat. Eventually everybody gets into the dancing act, literally, and join in the high-pace choreography with Bobby, Polly, the Zangler” show girls, the townsfolk, and cowboys that it appears as though the entire Gaiety Theater ensemble have decided to “go west” for good.
All that dancing was supported by witty dialogue and outright slapstick moments, so that the “entertainment meter” vacillated between astonishment and hilarity.
Most memorable is the “mirroring” scene between drunken Bela Zangler, who has followed his romantic yearnings for dance director Tess to Deadrock, while hopelessly love-sick Bobby—still in his Bela disguise—gets tipsy in despair over Polly. Befuddled by his “reflection” in the Imposter (Bobby), Bela admits feeling “beside himself” over his love for Tess. Bela and Bobby unite in the song What Causes That? amid some very comic moments of mimicry.
It may have been “crazy” to choose such an energetic musical—where everybody sings and dances—for the high school stage, especially with so many challenges.
“Besides the regular vagaries of any theatrical production,” Producer Director Steve Hailey states in the program, “there are also the hindrances of a six-week production schedule (35 rehearsals with a double cast), coordinating the personal schedules of over 100 performers, musicians, and crew members….”
In Hailey’s list of the many typical high school interferences such as sports events, upstate music rehearsals and performances, college interviews and auditions, dance competitions, along with one-week school vacation, in addition to“a couple of snow storms,” it is a wonder that the production got off at all.
However, Mr. Hailey expressed his amazement in the company “pulling it all together” and his pride “to have had the opportunity to work with so many talented young people.” It seems the audiences concured, going "crazy for" all the Sayville talent that rose to the challenge with gratifying results every night.
Applause to everyone, including the behind the scenes production, orchestra, and choreographes (listed below), who contributed their time and talents to make this such an enjoyable production.
“ZANGLER” SHOW GIRLS
Richelle Galante, Gabby Kalomiris, Aneri Kinariwalla, Julia Magnani, Dina Netska, Pamela Smith,
Tess Acierno, Melanie Andersen, Alyssa Coia, Kim Colavito, Lucy DeStefano-Pearce, Shannon Lynch, Meghan Marshall, Taylor Marshall, Valerie Murray, Kiera Muscara, Catherine Rico, Allie Roppelt, Jackie Roppelt, Justine Parcelluzzi, Kaila Savino, Kelsey Truglio
CHARACTERS (in order of appearance)(Wed,Fri); (Thu,Sat)
MARTHA BOSWELL Samantha Schenkel;Stephanie Seredenko
CONSTANCE BOSWELL Danielle Post; Denise Natoli
HELVETIA BOSWELL Melina Guida; Anna Corso
JANET BOSWELL Kimberly Miller; Elizabeth Larkin
TESS (dance director) Kiera Muscara; Catherine Rico
PATSY (assistant) Qxiara Tomasetti; Kelsey Truglio
MITZI (dancer) Kim Colavito; Melanie Andersen
BOBBY CHILD (dancing banker) Kenneth Murray
BELA ZANGLER (famous producer) Miles Whittaker; James Harlin
IRENE ROTH (Bobby’s “fiancée”) Brianna Gomez; Georgia Grant
LOTTIE CHILD (Bobby’s mother) Elizabeth Larkin; Kayleigh Brennan
PERKINS (Lottie’s assistant) Janine Loesch; Nicole Ferremi
CUSTUS (native of Deadrock) Kevin Siao
PETE (native of Deadrock) Matthew Spina
JIMMY (native of Deadrock) Benjamin Diehl
MOOSE (native of Deadrock) James Harlin; Matthew Iovino
HARRY (native of Deadrock) Christian Savini
SAM (native of Deadrock) Derek Hartnett; Miles Whittaker
BOB (native of Deadrock) Miles Whittaker; James Harlin
POLLY BAKER (only single woman in Deadrock) Kailey Schnurman; Marra Kassman
EVERETT BAKER (Polly’s father) Liam Hofmeister
LANK HAWKINS (Polly’s “suitor”) Matthew Iovino; Derek Hartnett
EUGENE FODOR (traveler and author) Christian Savini
PATRICIA FODOR (traveler and author) Hannah Russell; Alexis Skalkowski
BETSY Valerie Murray
LOTTIE’S CHAUFFEUR Mike LoPreto
Assistant Lighting Manager Michael Kennedy
House Manager Andrea DeVenuto
Sean Bonney, Christian Brown, Julia Cameron, Andrew Campbell, Daniel Esposito, Keith Frislid, Joseph Giardina, Michael Kennedy, Daniel Knappe, Daniel Kohler, Samantha Litter,Janine Loesch, Emily McClellan,Kaitlyn McNamara, Michael Millwater,Erin Murphy,Emily Nowlan,Lorelei Olk,Renee Reilly,Alex Roth, Sean Sanchez, Wesley Smith, Chuck Verbeck,Amanda Verdone, Angela Vetere
Michael Forsberg,Dan Knappe,Michael LoPreto; Middle School Scenery & Lighting Apprentices:
Meghan Fawcett, Daniel Forsberg, Steven Giardina,Lizzy Gouvis,Erin Kohler, Annah Murphy,Katie Neuschwender, Chris Russo, Ally Truglio, J. D. Verbeck, Jack Wissing
VIOLIN: Craig Davidson, Katelyn Odierno, Caroline Pace, Meaghan Reilly;GUITAR/BANJO: Bobby Danzi
BASS: Bryan Thornlow;DRUMS/PERCUSSION:Matthew Hillsberg;ALTO/SOPRANO SAX: Mike LaPinta; ALTO SAX: Stefani Ebo; BARITONE SAX: Eddie Burke; TENOR SAX/BASS CLARINET:Courtney Takats; TENOR SAX:Aaron Fisher;