Local students will take the stage of Fort Hays State University’s Felten-Start Theatre for the first theatrical production of the fall, the Homecoming Weekend production of “Crazy for You,” the romantic comedy musical by the legendary George and Ira Gershwin.
Performances are at 7:30 p.m. from Oct. 2 to Oct. 4. A matinee is at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6. Felten-Start is in Malloy Hall on the FHSU campus.
Set in the 1930s, “Crazy for You” opens in Zangler Theatre in New York, with Tess, played by Rebecca Urban, junior, as the dance director who dismisses the advances she gets from theatre owner Bela Zangler, played by Alexander Stout, Kanopolis senior.
Hoping to become part of the theatre and its performances is Bobby Child, played by L.J. Kemper, Topeka (66604) junior. Bobby, the child of a rich banking family, is denied an audition and returns outside to meet his fiancé of five years, Irene, played by Jill Herbert, Wichita (67212) sophomore, and his mother, Mrs. Lottie Child, Hannah Keil, Hays sophomore.
Bobby is told to go to Deadrock, Nev., to foreclose on a theatre. Deadrock’s theatre owner, Everett Baker, played by Tyler Wayman, McLouth sophomore, worries about his daughter, Polly, played by Hayley Funk, Quinter junior. She wants to carry on her mother’s legacy of being in the town’s performances and vows to get even with the bank for foreclosing on her father’s theatre.
Lank Hawkins, played by Timothy Tarkelly, Hays senior, tries to convince Everett to sell the theatre to him because Lank is in love with Polly.
Bobby hits town dehydrated and on the brink of death and sees Polly. It is love at first sight, and he celebrates the moment by singing “Things are Looking Up.”
Instead of foreclosing on the theatre and losing the love of his life, Bobby decides to put on a production to save the theatre. Polly enthusiastically agrees, but once she finds out Bobby is the banker from New York, she is heartbroken. Bobby wants the show to go on and impersonates Mr. Zangler, the director from New York, to keep the show going.
The 10 Zangler Follies appear and are put in the show. Once the local cowboys see the follies, the whole dreary town comes alive with excitement. The song “Slap That Bass” turns all the bad rehearsals and spirits up and creates high spirits. But while the show is going well, Polly has fallen in love with Bobby’s impersonation of Mr. Zangler.
From there, the love and theatrical interests work themselves out through classic Gershwin songs, including “I Got Rhythm,” “They Can’t Take That Away from Me,” “Embraceable You” and “Someone to Watch Over Me.”
The show ends with the all the townspeople concocting a plan to reunite Polly and Bobby in the “Finale.”
Local student, Estella Schumacher, freshman, will play Elaine in the Follies Girls Chorus.
“Crazy for You” was nominated for nine Tony awards and won three, including Best Musical in 1992.
Tickets are $15 for the public and $10 for senior citizens and FHSU students with a valid ID. For more information or ticket reservations, call the department of Music and Theatre at 785-628-4533 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.