Crazy For You: a review of Riverton Drama’s first musical production

Crazy For You Poster

Crazy For You Poster

Matthew Drachman, Editor In Chief Float

RIVERTON HIGH – Riverton High School’s production of the acclaimed musical romantic comedy, Crazy for You, by Ken Ludwig had its opening night this past November 21st, and it has many praising the actors for their dedication towards their passion for acting, while it also has some parents questioning the play’s appropriateness.


I had the opportunity to see this production on opening night, and going into it I had heard the rumors behind the controversy. The main of which was the intimate kissing scenes within the play.


After watching the production, taking notes the entire time, and meeting with the actors afterwards to discuss the topics of the play, I can honestly say that this was one of the best productions that I have seen Riverton High School put on throughout the three years that I have been at this school.  


The Drama department never ceases to amaze me at the pure talent that they are able to pour into each and every show that they produce, and Crazy For You, is no exception to that.


Plot Summary


Crazy for You first takes place in the 1930’s in Manhattan, New York, and follows a banker by the name of Bobby Child (Played by Sam Cooper).  Bobby isn’t happy about what he is currently doing and has always strived to be a dancer and actor in theatre. After being denied by an acclaimed director Bela Zangler (Played by Luke Gonzalez), Bobby is sent to foreclose on a property in Nevada where he meets Polly Baker (Played by Ari Curtis).


Bobby ends up falling for Polly, and for the rest of the play he is trying to help her save her father’s theatre through various methods.  


Over all the plot was very easy to follow through the first act, and through the second act up until the ending follows through.  It seems to me that there could have been characters that could have acted differently to make clear to the other main characters about details they didn’t know that would patch a hole in the plot.

It also seemed to me that near the end of the play, there was an absence of an antagonist in the story.  When I was watching the play, I thought that Irene (Played by Savannah Cobb) and Lank Hawkins (Played by Anson Bagley) would turn back into the antagonists that they were in the beginning of the play, but they seemed to sort of resolve pretty early in that regard.


Other than that is was very easy to follow while the actors were up on stage.  It was one of the most entertaining plays I have seen in awhile.


The Acting


The acting within the play I thought was beautifully done.  The talent that the RHS Drama department has I swear could star in a Broadway show.


Sam Cooper’s portrayal of Bobby Child provides quality entertainment and comic relief throughout the play. Sam’s laugh is enough to make scenes that would normally be awkward for both the audience and the crew into a funny comedic moment. Sam has serious talent in the area and I see great things for him in the upcoming plays this year, and possibly in the future as an actor. His singing is also really on point.


Ari Curtis portrayal of Polly Baker was extravagant. Her singing voice is absolutely stunning and puts the crowd in awe. She does a fantastic job keeping in an accent which a lot of actors sometimes find difficult. Her comedic timing and facial expressions make the play.


Luke Gonzalez’s performance as the German director Bela Zangler was fantastic. His supportive role provided entertainment to drawn out scenes and gave us all something to laugh about when the times seemed awkward.


Savannah Cobb’s performance as the enticing Irene Roth was superb. Savannah was able to capture the high class nature of the character while also capturing highly intimate scenes without making them weird.  The sub plot with Irene and Lank provided a good sub story that kept the plot moving, and Savannah was able to capture that in every distinct detail, and should be praised for this performance.


The Cowboys in this story were spot on I thought. The acting with all of them, including the star of the show, Carson Lloyd, was precise and the action sequences were very well performed.  They were able to make a fake death really funny to watch. The gun action was also spot on.


Emma Otis and her Follie girls were spectacular. The dancing, singing, and all of the sequences they were involved with were ultimate perfection, and all should see a praise for their work within the production. The audience interaction I thought was a nice touch as well.


The Foder’s (Played by Dallin Trickett and Annabelle Durham) were absolutely fantastic.  The accents were spot on, and almost played as a starting role when they were just supportive characters.


Overall, all the actors in this play had performed beautifully in their respective roles, and all in my opinion deserve to win Oscars within their roles in this production.


The Production Value


The sets used within this production value within this play was outstanding.  I seriously have never seen the levels of detail on set in any RHS production.

The multi purposes of each set made it easy to exchange sets very easy, and change for the dusty western state of Nevada, and to the concrete jungle of New York.


The Drama department outdid themselves in making the sets for this production, and I thought it was very well done.


Let’s Talk Kissing


The major controversy of this play among parents, and a few students was the amount, and intimacy to some of the kissing scenes within this play.


“They shouldn’t have a play like that in highschools.” One parent told me after attending opening night. Another RHS student had told me that, “It seemed to me like a little much for a high school play.”


From my count during the play, there were 11 kissing scenes within this production, many of them weren’t that serious, just a quick little kiss never hurt nobody.  A few were very intimate and romantic during the production, which is where I believe this controversy stems from.


I actually wrote down in my notes during the play, “The whole schools reaction to the kissing can be summed up when Sam yells, ‘Wow!’”


In my opinion, the kissing within this play was perfectly fine.  It was a lot more intimate in the second act than in the first, but it went with the comedy and the storyline of the play.  So at the end of the day it didn’t really phase me in that regard.


I have to give more props to the cast and the crew here, because from what I have heard, there were actually rehearsals just for these scenes to make sure they got them right and as less awkward as possible.  The cast was able to do the scenes, not just on opening night, but all the other nights, perfectly fine without being awkward between each other afterwards. That truly shows truly a good actor, and they did a fine job in this regard.


The fact of the matter is that teens know what kissing is and have probably seen a lot worse in their favorite TV shows or movies.  The people watching these shows are mature enough to know what a plot and the characters that go with that.


I’ll grant, the first scene in this play that involves kissing was quite weird and unneeded in my opinion, although that is a criticism of the writer and not of the Drama Department.


However, I don’t see this show being inappropriate nor do I see it as anything but a romantic comedy.  Although I can see where the criticism comes from in its regard.


In Conclusion


Overall, I am impressed with how well thought out, and how well done this production was with the Drama department.


The actors and the directing crew of this play I believe will go down as one of the best productions that Riverton has performed thus far, and I believe it sets a path for the cast to pursue greater pastures in the future, and for future possibilities that the Drama department will be able to do.


The talent that the drama department brung to this productions was extravagant and precise, and I am excited to see what the spring show will have to offer, and I can say that I am craving for more.  In summary, I would highly recommend people to go see the RHS production of Crazy for You and to enjoy the fine entertainment that it provides.


To all of the crew and cast of this production, my hat is off to you.  I am looking forward to what you will do next in the coming year.