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Potsdam High School Drama Club presents ‘Crazy For You’

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POTSDAM - When big city business man Bobby Childs travels to the wild west to foreclose on a theater owned by the beautiful Polly Baker, hilarity and romance ensue, followed by a last ditch effort to save the theater.

That’s the story of “Crazy For You,” the 1992 Tony Award-winning musical that features the musical of the legendary George Gershwin. The curtain will rise at 7:30 p.m. Friday and at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday for the performances by the Potsdam High School Drama Club.

And with music, comes dance, including for the first time, tap dancing in a Potsdam production, something that only one cast member had any experience with prior to auditions.

Director Tammara Madeja said she’s impressed with how far the students have come.

“The dancers have spent hours and hours learning to tap. I’m so proud of how much progress they’ve made,” she said. “They really do love the tap dancing and ball room routines they’re doing.”

Ms. Madeja said auditions for the shoe were held prior to Christmas break, with rehearsals starting in January.

The auditorium is also outfitted with new lighting.

“We’re really grateful to have new lighting for the first time in 50 or 60 years,” Ms. Madeja said, adding this year’s show includes several different sets.

“It’s a very challenging show technically,” she said.

Stage Manager Nathan Gingrich agreed.

“IT’s definitely more complex,” he said. “There are a lot more elements in all of the scenes.”

When asked what he enjoyed most about being behind the scenes, Mr. Gingrich said he likes being in control.

“I kind of like to be in charge of everything,” he said.

Mr. Gingrich a senior, also said this year’s production is going to be bittersweet.

“There’s going to be some relief when it’s over, but it’s also going to be sad.”

While Ariana Frascatore, who plays Polly Baker, is a senior, she said she’s hoping to continue singing, acting and dancing in the future.

“I love to sing and I love to dance. I love all of it,” she said. “I just really enjoy music theatre.

Ms. Frascatore was also among those who had to learn how to tap dance for this year’s show.

“The credit for my tap dancing goes to Samantha Bell (choreographer), Zoey Loveless (cast member) and Cristy Stoian (cast member). I had no experience whatsoever,” she said. “Compared to last year’s show, this one was definitely much harder.”

As the only cast member with tap dancing experience, Ms. Loveless, who plays the role of Mitzi, said she was nervous, knowing that many other people would be looking to her for help and advice.

“It was nerve-wracking, because I knew everyone would be coming to me,” she said, adding that for the dancing was definitely a high light of the show.

“I love the dancing in it,” she said. “I also like how it’s a traditional love story with lots of different twists in it.”

Ivan Jukic plays the role of Bobby Childs, and he said this year’s show is unlike any the school has done over the past several years.

“We have sort of a tradition of doing really emotional performances,” he said. “This year’s is more of a comedy and there is definitely more dancing, so that adds to the vibrant atmosphere.”

As a senior, Mr. Jukic said this year’s show is a good one to be his last.

“This is really a great show to be my last one,” he said. “I was skeptical about doing something so unusual for us, but it’s turned out great and I’m really happy about it.”

Noah Chichester is a senior, who is involved in both acting and technical side of the show. He said he’s really going to miss the drama club.

“It’s bittersweet,” he said. “It’s been a great run. It only sank in a couple days ago that there are only a few days left.”

“Crazy For You” stars seniors Ivan Jukic and Ariana Frascatore as Bobby and Polly, Noah Chichester as theater impresario Bela Zangler, Emily Wanamaker as Irene Roth, Bobby’s fiancée, Michael Hobbs as Lank Hawkins, Daniel Chichester and Eugene Fodor, Molly Tishberg as Patricia Fodor, Cassidy Easton as Everett, Gwyneth Heuser as Mother, Cristy Stoian as Tess and Clarissa Mitchell as Patsy. The Cowboy Trio is played by Matt Cincinnati, Connery Marsh, and Taylor Prosper.

The cast of 34 also includes Katherine Blanchard, Elna Daby, Sierra Damon, Sammie Frick, Zoe Loveless, Claire Maciel, Miranda Mangual, Anna Merchant, Taylor Murray, Delaney Normile, Carrie Potter, Chitara Robertson, Rory Sixberry, Anders Julin, Sam Lee, Connery Marsh, Quincy Neaton.

Crew members include MJ Weirich, Sam Heer, Samantha Kardash, Clare Brownell, Ana Jukic, Elijah Adams, John Maroney, Alyssa Theobald, Gwen Deuel.

The production staff for Crazy For You includes Director Tammara Madeja, Production Assistant Abigail Imhof, Choreographer Samantha Bell, Music Director Jill Rubio, Set Designer Jeffrey Grigel Scenic Painting Instructor Bill Newman, Costume Designer Alice Reed, Properties Director Suzanne Waters, Lighting and Sound Design Director Noah Chichester and Stage Manager Nathan Gingrich.

Tickets for Crazy For You are $10 for adults and $8 for students or senior citizens. Tickets are available from cast members or at the Potsdam High School Main Office, A.A. Kingston Middle School Main Office or Northern Music and Video.

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