George and Ira Gershwin take the stage of Felten-Start Theatre for the first theatrical production of the fall, the Fort Hays State University Homecoming Weekend production of "Crazy for You."
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" is a witty and comedic romantic musical based on the novel by Ken Ludwig. The first act opens in Zangler Theatre in New York, with Tess, played by Rebecca Urban, Hays 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 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 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."
"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.
Follies Girls Chorus girls:
Beloit: Cassidy Turley, freshman, playing Sheila
Great Bend: Estella Schumacher, freshman, Elaine
Hays: Monica Rome, sophomore, Patsy
Samie Pfeifer, senior, Mitzi
Maggie Zody, junior, Betsy
Pueblo, Colo.: Sabrina Sales, freshman, Margie
Salina: Morgan Soldan, freshman, Louise
Solomon: Sarah Werling, junior, Susie
Dighon: Clayton Capra, freshman, playing Custus
Garden Plain: Jacob Stuhlsatz, freshman, Billy
Highlands Ranch, Colo.: Ryan Ross, sophomore, Junior
Hutchinson: Braden Pruitt, freshman, Harry
Kensington: Daniel Hill, junior, Wyatt
Lexington, Neb.: Orlando Garcia, senior, Jimmy
Salina: Jon-Luke Martin, freshman, Pete
The Cowboy Trio:
Garden City: Levi Gibbons, senior, playing Moose
Hays: Dusten St. Germain, freshman, Dusty
Ottawa: Michael Ritzel, senior, Mingo
Palco: Galen Whisman, sophomore, Sam
The Pit Orchestra:
Terry Crull, associate professor of music and theatre, conductor
Pam McGowne, department of music and theatre staff accompanist, piano
Arlington: Corey Huggins, junior, the guitar and banjo
Belle Plain: Sara Doyle, junior, horns
Beloit: Cole Johnson, freshman, keyboards
Concordia: Byran Longfellow, freshman, trumpets
Hays: Hilary Shepard, instructor of music and theatre, playing piccolo, clarinet, flute and saxophone
Matt Rome, senior, flute, clarinet and saxophone
Aaron Hoffman, junior, trumpets
Kevin Pham, senior, percussion
Healy: Luke Johnson, senior, bass
Lancaster: Steve Rathert, senior, bass trombone
Oberlin: Katie Glading, senior, tenor trombone
Parsons: Michael Walker, senior, trap set
Pratt: Greg Jones, senior, horns
Devon Blackwood, playing clarinet and saxophone
Hannah Kishgarian, cello