Crazy for the Gilman Musical!

by elizabeth g. ‘21

During this year’s Gym Drill weekend, a time filled with Mawrtian pride,  Across the street, Gilman also enjoyed excitement and activity with their showing of the long-awaited Crazy For You,  a highly acclaimed Gershwin musical comedy, taking place in the 30’s. The musical is a love story between a struggling thespian, Bobby Child, and a driven country gal, Polly. The complicated love story explores the value in a name and identity as well as the role one’s identity has in love. Bobby Child, a son of bank owners and aspiring performer in New York City, faces conflict with his family’s business. He is instructed to set out to Nevada to foreclose on a property that also happens to be a theatre. After arriving, Bobby Child, played by Gilman senior Luke Sabracos, meets the lead female character, Polly, played Layla Sartipy, a senior at the St. Paul School for Girls.  Polly and her father run the theatre that is to be shut down by Bobby Child. Before Polly can ask Bobby his name, they engage in a dance number that leads them to fall in love. Polly initially rejects Bobby because of the betrayal she feels because of the foreclosure. In an attempt to mend his relationship with Polly, Bobby impersonates Bela Zangler, a highly respected director, to put on a show and save the theatre. Unfortunately, after weeks of work, the town’s show fails and Bobby Child’s masquerade is exposed. Throughout these scenes, many sub characters engage in highly entertaining scenes involving tap dancing and other complicated numbers. The musical ends with Bobby Child and Polly fighting for their love and ultimately saving the theatre with the help of Bela Zangler.

Although the musical itself offers a substantial amount of entertainment, the real theatrics arguably  took place backstage. Throughout the months of tirelessly working to bring such a spectacular production together, the cast and crew developed many valuable and long-lasting relationships. Sydney L. ’21 and Anna B. ’21 described these valuable relationships “[The upperclassmen in the musical] are our friends and mentors and we’ll never forget the experiences we shared with them on and off stage.” Being in the musical involved a lot of late nights, usually getting released from rehearsal close to 11:00 o’clock at night. And with those late nights of hard work, the cast pushed themselves to learn new skills and risk failure in front of people they don’t necessarily know in the beginning. Learning to tap for the first time or trying to hit a high note is risky, because the cast is very talented and failure is inevitable when learning a new skill. This constant risk is what made their friendships so strong. From learning tap, to standing on shovels supported by other cast members these actors constantly adapted to the standards that made the musical great. Despite enduring entire months of sleep deprivation, the actors and actresses grew to love performing and spending time after school with their friends, and as Nafia H. ’21 said, “Who could ask for anything more?”