FREDONIA, NY (WNY News Now) — The Fredonia High School is debuting its annual musical this weekend, and in doing so is reaching a major milestone.
The stage is set for the production of “Crazy For You,” marking 50 years of Fredonia musicals since beginning in 1973.
This spring’s performance involves a significant portion of the high school population, in all different aspects of the production.
“It really takes a village to put on these shows. Between our students involved, our adult volunteers, our adult staff members, I mean it involves literally hundreds of people to put this show on,” explained Director Ben Wendell, who was himself a member of the cast during the same show in 2005. “You know, every single part matters. There’s not one thing that’s not important to the overall success of the production.”
“Crazy For You” follows a banker from New York City as he journeys his way through a comedy-filled romance, accompanied by a soundtrack from George and Ira Gershwin.
The production doesn’t just bring students in to perform, though. Dozens of high schoolers opt to work on one of the many backstage crews, remaining unseen by the audience, yet vital to the show as a whole.
“All through middle school, I was in cast, but in my ninth grade year I decided to do crew,” freshman Mariella Russo stated. “For stage crew I help paint sets, build sets, and for flying I fly in and out sets onto stage.”
For a lot of the members of the production, yearly musicals have become a way of showing the community what they’re able to accomplish when they work as a team.
Students work tirelessly to produce something they can be proud of, and as a bonus, they’re able to entertain and amuse the public.
So just how do these young adults, who are already worrying about grades and colleges, manage to memorize such a complex show?
“We have a lot of stuff going on, with just school and personal life, everything that’s going on. So musical is just another thing that’s added to that,” answered Ryan Davis, one of the lead characters. “I’ve had to go to every single rehearsal. Some of the rehearsals have been back-to-back with other people. We’ll rehearse a scene, and then another person will come, and I’ll rehearse with them. It has been a lot of work, but it all pays off in the end.”
Any remaining tickets for the show tonight will be sold at the door. To purchase tickets ahead of time for tomorrow, or for next weekend, visit www.fredoniamusical.com.