High schoolers are ‘Crazy for You’: Musical to ‘show off’ talent of students
When Director Peggy Boelk had to decide on a production for this year’s Tahoe Truckee High School musical, she wanted a musical that would really show off the graduating seniors.
She decided on George and Ira Gershwin’s romantic comedy, “Crazy for You.”
“It’s double the costumes, double the sets and triple the dance of the musicals we’ve done in the past,” said Boelk, who’s been directing the high school’s musicals for four years.
“Crazy for You” opens Friday, May 2 in the Tahoe Truckee High School Auditorium.
“This is by far the most incredible show I’ve done,” Boelk said. “It’s tough. It’s really tough.”
Typically, the cast begins rehearsing for the annual musical in February. This year, some of the actors were taking dance lessons in the summer, and the entire cast was rehearsing by September.
“This [musical] doesn’t ever slow down. It’s been difficult, because I’m in every scene,” said Richard Hess, who plays the male lead, Bobby Child. “It’s 11 musical numbers of goodness.”
In fact, the curtain never closes in “Crazy for You.” The actors do all of the set changes themselves, so there’s always something going on for the audience.
The plot of “Crazy for You” was adopted from the 1930s musical “Girl Crazy.” Seven of the songs in the updated performance – recognizable numbers like “I Got Rhythm,” “Embraceable You,” and “Bidin’ my Time” – came from the original musical.
Boelk said today’s audience should relate to the themes of the Gershwins’ songs, many of which were written during the Depression.
“More than anything else, Gershwins’ music stirs emotion, especially now with the war, SARS and 9/11. The songs say over and over again: Come on and drop that long face and put on your dancing shoes,” Boelk said.
For some of the performers, the songs took some work. Senior Sophia Sophusson, who plays high-maintenance seductress Irene Roth, had to fine-tune her vocal skills for the production.
“I’ve never sang in front of an audience before,” she said. “I’ve been taking some voice lessons.”
Under the direction of David Green, a live band will provide accompaniment for all 11 musical numbers. April 24, about one week before the inaugural performance, was the first time the cast and the band had rehearsed together.
“Gershwin is really tough,” Boelk said. “The conductor has to follow the actors to keep with the action. Dave Green is really good at it.”
As the performers prepare for opening night, the weeks prior to rehearsal are challenging for the cast. It means a lot of sitting around and fine-tuning the logistics of the performance.
“This is the week from hell,” said Cathy Davies, who plays Lottie Child. “Everything is completely apart, but somehow on opening night it all comes together perfectly.”
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