CRAZY FOR YOU hoofs up a Musical


    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).


     Who knew that by heading West to foreclose on the Old Gaiety Theater, Bobby would find purpose in his life—to save the very same stage by staging a show? Of course, altruistic motivations alone do not propel the plot. It’s all for love.


    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.


     Among the absolutely “crazy” comedic moments were: awkwardly leaping cowboys “larnin’ to dance; frustrated dancers dealing with the led-footed shenanigans of dancing cowboys, and the witty retorts between Bobby’s demanding fiancée Irene and the town’s straight man, saloon owner Lank Hawkins (played with a strong hand by Matt Iovino and with sleek finesse by Derek Hartnett). Lank and Irene so despise one another, their hatred sizzles, until surprisingly, it erupts into a hot romance, continues with the seductive musical number Naughty Baby, and ends in marriage!


    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.



    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




     Stage Director/Producer                                      Mr. Steven Hailey

     Musical Director/Accompanist                  Mr. Frederic Diekmann

     Orchestra Conductor/Musical Arranger           Mr. Peter DeSalvo

     Choreographer                                                     Ms. Penny Hough

     Assistant Choreographer                                       Ms. Patty Hough

     Technical Supervision                         Mr. Kenneth Van Essendelft

     Sound Supervision                                          Mr. Andy Giammalvo

     Lighting Supervision                                            Mr. Steven Hailey

     Stage Managers                                           Katherine Palma; Samantha Ruta

     Assistant Stage Managers                                      Anna Mizzi; Michael LoPreto

     Construction Manager                                 Michael Forsberg                           

     Artistic Supervision                                               Allison Cromwell                                                

     Lighting Manager                                                             Dan Kohler                                       

    Assistant Lighting Manager                                  Michael Kennedy                                  

     Properties Manager                                                Samantha Litter

     Costume Manager                                                    Janine Loesch                                   

     Sound Technicians                           Michael Lackeman; Rosanna Martino                                           

    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;  CLARINET: Erica Elsessar, Sarah Elsessar, Lindsey Lyons; OBOE: Erin Robson; FLUTE: Katherine Farrell; FLUTE/PICCOLO: Christa Saracino; FRENCH HORN: Andrew Fisher, Ryan Vahey; TROMBONE: Hillary Slavik; TRUMPET: Nick Calvano, Justin Rippert; and  KEYBOARD:  Mr. Frederic Diekmann

Related Files