Crazy for You, a Stage Manager’s Perception

Crazy For You was a crazy good time at ALT this summer! I’d be lying if I said this reimagining of classic Gershwin tunes didn’t feel a bit daunting at first. However, I knew if any team could pull it off it would be Dell McLain as director, Dr. David Hobbs as musical director, and Shannon Crites as choreographer. After the first night of auditions I knew my apprehension was unnecessary.
After assembling a phenomenal cast the first task was choreography! I knew from the first choreo rehearsal with the Follies that this show as going to be something Ardmore audiences had never experienced at ALT. The girls (and Nate!) brought skills to our stage that were unmatched. Not only that they did it without complaining even once (or being nervous about ‘showgirl costumes’!).
Our male ensemble of cowboys showed proficient in dying and shooting up the place. One of my favorite scenes was the ‘dying’ scene in the second act. The proprietor of the saloon wanted to ‘bring in tourists’ and showcased the local talent’s acting skills in reenactments of famous gunfights of the Old West. The laughs brought the house down nightly.

The female ensemble of Zangler employees never failed to get a laugh and smile each night. Each of these ladies created their own characters though they had no lines. The show truly would not have been the same without them.

When I read the show before we started auditions I was a little concerned that it might be boring. However, our principal actors delivered beautiful songs, lots of laughs, and even a little terror each night. They were perfectly assembled and played off of each other to bring this show to life.

I would be a terrible stage manager if I didn’t mention how phenomenal the crew was for this one. We even imported talent all the way for Italy! Everyone worked together to make this show amazing. We had some new faces and several times people had to swap roles, all of which was done with a smile.

I thought this was going to be a pretty easy show as far as musicals are concerned (no flying, no crazy set changes, very few drops), but the reality was Crazy For You tested me in new ways as a stage manager. Keeping calm during injuries and illness was a new challenge and has made me better for the future.

I cannot think of a better way to have spent my first ‘free’ summer since the mid-nineties (since I just finished my first year of teaching!). I’m so glad I said yes when I was asked to come be part of it. I said it over and over to the new people: a show will bond you as a family quickly and in a way that it impossible to explain. If you’ve never done a show or it’s been a while I highly recommend coming out to audition or help back stage. I promise, you won’t regret it!

Wendy D. Newton

Stage Manager

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