Cast hopes Education Week guests go crazy for ‘Crazy for You’

T’Naiha Ellis and Christopher Gallacher pose for a picture for “Crazy For You.” The play will be shown at BYU during Education Week.

The boy-meets-girl and falls in love sequence is far too simple for this love story. Mistaken identity, revenge, financial concerns and the debut of a musical complicate the love story of Bobby Child and Polly Baker. Written by Ken Ludwig, with lyrics by Ira Gershwin and composed by George Gershwin, the “Crazy for You” cast is ready to hit the stage for audiences at BYU Education Week.

The SCERA Theater’s rendition is produced by Jerry Elison and choreographed by Sam Elva, with musical direction by Martha Glissmeyer. Elison says the show, which will be performed on campus, will be loved due to its wonderful dancing and music.

“Crazy for You” originally debuted on Broadway in 1992 after being based on a 1930 musical “Girl Crazy.” It was nominated for and won several awards in its original production including a Tony Award for Best Musical. The musical is set in Deadrock, Nevada and shares a love story surrounding the saving of a bankrupt theater.

“We have been so lucky to have a choreographer who is an extremely talented man. He spent a solid week with hours a night teaching the cast to tap dance because the majority didn’t dance,” Elison said. “I have never seen a group of young people work so hard. Sam made it really hard and they have worked really hard.”

Elison also said the music is fantastic, with unforgettable songs like “Embraceable You” and “I’ve Got Rhythm.”

“You can’t go wrong with Gershwin’s music,” he said. “You just can’t beat the numbers. The music is wonderful.”

T’Naiha Ellis plays the part of Polly Baker and said the show is a lot of fun. “It is really chaotic but it is so much fun,” Ellis said. “It is a dance comedy and it is upbeat and fun. It keeps you on your toes because you never know what is going to happen.”

Ellis and Gallacher pose for another picture conveying the complicated relationship between Polly Baker and Bobby Child in the musical "Crazy For You."
Ellis and Gallacher pose for another picture conveying the complicated relationship between Polly Baker and Bobby Child in the musical “Crazy For You.”

Christopher Gallacher, who plays Bobby Child, agreed that the show is made for everyone.

“There is a little bit of everything. You have adventure, a big bar fight, it’s funny; there is love and heartache and betrayal,” he said. “It has all your classic emotions you need to have in a show. It is a story a lot of people can relate to.”

The cast has worked hard not only to tackle difficult tap dances, but also to captivate the audience with a story, Elison said. “We want to tell the story the best we can. If you can’t tell a story you don’t have much of a show.”

Ellis and Gallacher both said rehearsals have been a very positive experience to work. “It has been a really fun experience to have a main role and to kind of carry the show,” Gallacher said. “It has been great to develop a character from start to finish and to experience a transformation of the character in the show.”

The most important part of the show is the theme, and the feeling characters hope the audience will have as they leave. Ellis said she thinks the audience will love the show because of its message.

“I love the overall theme from the show, which is to follow your dreams and to truly find your calling in life,” Ellis said. “Also it is to follow your heart if it’s for your dream job, or if it is someone you are in love with and don’t worry what others will think.”

“Crazy for You” is Tuesday, Aug. 18 through Friday, Aug. 21 at 7:30 p.m. in the de Jong Concert Hall. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased online or in person in the Harris Fine Arts Center.

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