Notre Dame blends story, song, presentation for 'Crazy For You'

Thursday, April 15, 2004

"Crazy For You" is a relatively new musical, debuting in 1992, that features old songs by George and Ira Gershwin, but instead of being awkward, the story, presentation and songs blend seamlessly together, or they should.

Notre Dame Regional High School's performance of "Crazy For You" manages to bring the three elements together well enough to provide for an enjoyable, fun show.

First off, the school really went all out on the costumes and it is hard to take your eyes off some of them. Although it is not as important as other elements of a show, costume and make-up put the finishing touches on it and give it some dazzle. Dazzle is important in a musical like this one.

A musical like this one is meant simply to entertain. It is frothy and bubbly and makes no apologies for that.

One great thing about the Notre Dame cast is that they manage to, for the most part, keep smiles on their faces during the dance numbers, which may sound frivolous, but can make quite a difference.

While there is dancing throughout "Crazy For You," the numbers that stand out are group numbers featuring more complicated choreography.

The "I Can't Be Bothered Now" number features the main character and the Follies Girls, a take-off on the dancers of the Ziegfeld Follies.

With their bright pink outfits that make them bear a resemblance to Easter candy, the Follies Girls take on Busby Berkley-style choreography. No, they do not make it to the level of Berkley movies, but they do a fine job dealing with tough material and it is so much fun to watch.

Another winning dance number is performed during the famous "I Got Rhythm." With a stagefull of performers, this number is rousing and again, a whole lot of fun.

Yet another thing that is a whole lot of fun is Blake Fisher's performance of Bobby Child. He pull off the singing, the dancing, and the comedy with ease. Fisher has to play two characters in a sense, and he does a good job with both of them.

His leading lady Casey Cuba also does a fine job with the triple duty of acting, dancing and singing.

"Crazy For You" has great music to work with and the cast does an admirable job of performing them and it is great to hear songs like "Embraceable You" and "I Got Rhythm" performed live.

Also appearing in "Crazy For You" Kate Devaney as Irene Roth, Jonathan long as Lank Hawkins, Jessica Andersen as Bobby's mother, Eric McLain as Everett Baker, Rachel Roggow as Patricia Fodor and Ryan Bollinger as Eugene Fodor.

The Follies Girls are made up of Joelle Trower, Rachael Essner, Stacey Seyer, Christine Stokes, Caroline Crosson, Katie Mohundro, Jessica Dock, Laura Schuchart and Tasha Layton.

The Nevada Boys are played by Kent Buxton, Joe Dufek, Chris Heggemann, Art Lindman, Justin Moore, Adam Reinagel, Andrew Strohmeyer and Matt Unverferth.

The Showgirls are Renee Essner, Gina Kuntz, Emily Ivers, Sara Meystedt and Sarah Nenniger.

The New York ladies are played by Lauren Essner, Erin Mason and Rachael Unterreiner.

The orchestra is conducted by Jim Hindman, assistant directors are Katie Essner and Robin Phelps and choreography recreated by Deana Pecord.

kalfisi@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 182

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