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Show features young cast, energetic dance numbers

July 25, 2012

Dancing plays a large part in The Maxinkuckee Players’ rendition of “Crazy for You,” which opens this Friday. Director Lenore Jones said that cast members learned tap and ballroom dancing for the show. Above, “Zangler’s Follies” perform a dance number during a scene.

CULVER — The Maxinkuckee Players will be presenting their latest show, “Crazy for You” this Friday at Culver Community High School. First-time director Lenore Jones said that this year, audiences can expect a high energy production full of dancing, humor, and romance.
“This is probably more dancing than we have ever done before,” said Jones, who has been involved with the Maxinkuckee Players as an actress in previous years. “We have three choreographers that have taught the kids dancing — ballroom and tap. No one has complained about the extra practices, and they are dancing their hearts out.”
The show is set in the 1930s, and lead character Bobby Child (played by Gregg Underwood of Bass Lake) has a problem. All Bobby wants is to sing and dance, but his overbearing mother wants him to take over the family business of banking. Bobby travels from his world in New York to Deadrock, Nevada at his mother’s request in order to foreclose a theatre there. He meets a roadblock when he falls in love with the theatre owner’s daughter, Polly Baker (played by Kathy Overmyer of Bremen).
“(My character) is the only girl living in Deadrock, Nevada,” said Overmyer. “She’s really just a hard working girl, then she falls in love (with Bobby Child).”
“Crazy for You” is Overmyer’s twelfth show with the Maxinkuckee Players, and she said that the dancing was one of the biggest challenges.
“We as a theater group have never attempted a show with this much dancing in it,” said Overmyer.
Underwood, on his third show with the Maxinkuckee Players, said that the dancing was “a challenge and a half.” He was in the unique position of playing the lead role of an aspiring dancer without any previous dance training. Underwood rose to the part, however, and praised his fellow cast members for also meeting the challenge.
“We were able to recruit a lot of high school kids this year that are in it to win it — they are here one hundred percent,” said Underwood.
He said that the young cast — about half are teenagers — is not typical for a Maxinkuckee Players presentation, but that they needed young people to fill the dance parts.
“We’ve got high school students, we’ve got college students, and we’ve got adults,” said Jones of the cast. “We (also) have names that will be recognized as Maxinkuckee Players, like Dan Adams, who has been here since the group’s inception in the 1980s.”
One highlight of the show, said Jones, will be a prop — a car built by cast member Brian Liechty.
“(The car) is a loose rendition of a late 1920s Lincoln,” said Liechty, who estimates the prop took him between 80 and 100 hours to create. “I built it one board at a time,” continued Liechty. “It has an electric lift inside of it, so I built the lift first and then built the car around the lift.”
Liechty also plays Bela Zangler, a Hungarian producer of Rockette-style shows featuring dancers dubbed Zangler’s Follies.
“I get to be somebody other than me — how many times do you get to be Hungarian?” said Liechty. “I like this character.”
Liechty believes that audiences will appreciate the dry wit and one-liners in the show.
“There are many one-line gags and (displays of) physical comedy,” said Liechty.
“Crazy for You” opens Friday at 7:30 p.m. Other shows are: July 29 at 4 p.m., August 1 at 7:30 p.m., August 3 at 7:30 p.m., August 4 at 7:30 p.m., and August 5 at 4 p.m. All performances are in the Culver Community High School Auditorium. Tickets are sold at the door for $10 for adults and $5 for children. A special price for opening night is $5. Large group seating and backstage tours are available by contacting Lenore Jones, 574-780-7450 or lenore@ancoofficeproducts.com.

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