AOS Crazy For You Programme Spring 2012


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The programme for the AOS production of Crazy For You Spring 2012

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abingdon operatic society crazy for you 16th 21st april 2012 7.30pm nightly amey theatre abingdon school ox14 1de


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the follies girls rear row tara hunter lydia finch sarah carter front row rebecca peberdy lynda teasdale kath ridley


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abingdon operatic society presents crazy for you the new gershwin ® musical music and lyrics by george gershwin and ira gershwin book by ken ludwig co-conception by ken ludwig and mike ockrent inspired by material by guy bolton and john mcgowan originally produced on broadway by roger horchow and elizabeth williams ® director joy skeels musical director john nye choreographer natalie biggs the worldwide copyrights in the music of george and ira gershwin for this presentation are licensed by the gershwin family gershwin is a registered trademark and service mark of gershwin enterprises crazy for you is a registered trademark and service mark of crazy for you enterprises there will be an interval of twenty minutes between the acts please ensure that all mobile phones are switched off the use of all cameras video and audio equipment is prohibited for lost property enquiries please call 01235 526106 refreshments are available in the foyer conservatory please note that smoking is not allowed anywhere on abingdon school premises including all outside areas


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message from the chairman another busy and exciting year begins for abingdon operatic society with our production of crazy for you and a few words from john nye our chairman elcome to crazy for you `the new gershwin musical comedy whilst it is 75 years since george gershwin died and crazy for you is only twenty years old all the music is gershwin s it is an immense pleasure both as chairman and musical director to welcome joy skeels the society s vice-chairman as our director and natalie biggs as our choreographer both of whom having recently graced the stage in our productions are undertaking these responsibilities for the first time crazy for you was recently extended for a six month run on london s west end following its transfer at the end of the summer from a hugely successful open air theatre production the reason is simple who can resist a romantic comedy especially such a funny and touching one based on the wonderful songs of george and ira gershwin looking to the future we are determined to look after our audiences as we prepare for two blockbusters in the next year calamity jane and oliver however `tonight s the night as we wish you an evening of laughter romance dance and wonderful wonderful music that will send you away with a smile on your face john nye chairman w please be warned that firearms will be discharged in this production if you would like to become a member of aos please contact the membership secretary by emailing to be included in our mailing list or email list please contact


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joy skeels director after taking more than 30 lead roles in shows over the years this is joy s debut as a director so we asked her to tell us how she s found the experience d irecting the show has been fun seeing my ideas take shape with the help of a very talented set of people has been totally rewarding but i ve learnt that what goes on behind the scenes is just as important having to be involved in decisions about lighting and how the scenery will work will make me appreciate these aspects more in future it s not all been easy having to move through things quickly when i ve known that some people were struggling to keep up wasn t fun but the rehearsal schedule is in place for a reason to make sure that every part of the show is in place by curtain up and sometimes i have had to just move on this isn t my first time being part of crazy for you last time i played the part of polly baker i ve seen the show performed many times by both amateur and professional companies but i ve tried to make it my own and not just a collection of someone else s ideas it s been an absolute pleasure working with all the principals and the chorus working with others is not just about directing them it s about the support you can give them being able to put over your ideas while accepting suggestions about staging from them sometimes their ideas have been better than mine i ve tried to take all the best things from the many directors i have worked with i ve gained interesting insights too playing a part i always try to put the script down with a month to go but now i m on the other side of the fence i can see why directors urge you to do it as soon as possible you can only begin to become the character you are portraying once you stop worrying about your lines being very organised has helped me feel confident if i had lost my huge blue folder i would have been devastated i guess my planning and preparation time for this show has averaged about two hours per scene so in total i ve spent 32 hours that doesn t sound much but with a two year old at home you need to spread it over many months of work i think i ll feel lonely during show week i ll miss out on all the jokes and the excitement once we get to dress rehearsal my job will be done i guess it will be worse because john nye musical director will be in the pit and natalie biggs choreographer will be on stage so i will even have to watch on my own i ll cheer myself up by buying six new dresses to wear during show week i ll walk around looking important and then help backstage whenever i can i m not planning to give up on my stage career just yet i ll definitely be back on stage for calamity jane i miss the lights and greasepaint too much to give them up yet.


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john nye ­ musical director j ohn grew up in west london and his musical education took place at the royal college of music when singing he has enjoyed opportunities to take roles as diverse as zeus in orpheus in the underworld pilate in bach s st john passion and most recently rudolph reisenweber the head waiter in hello dolly this is his sixth aos show as musical director when not listening to music or playing piano and clarinet examining coaching rowing or refereeing rugby he teaches mathematics for relaxation he enjoys running and supports brentford football club he is married to katie who has directed triumphs such as my fair lady and the mikado and they have three grown up children all of whom have made substantial contributions on and off stage to aos natalie biggs ­ choreographer n atalie trained in dance at the urdang academy covent garden studying all three disciplines ballet contemporary and jazz as well as tap and other disciplines she performed in a number of shows at the academy including how to succeed in business without really trying and honk after graduating she danced professionally in pantomimes with chaplins a theatre in education group she took to the amateur stage joining aos in 2009 and has appeared in three productions sweeny todd guys and dolls and most recently hello dolly as well as performing natalie has in the past taught both children and adults to dance which provided her with the opportunity to regularly choreograph individual routines and small shows following that she progressed into choreographing two local pantomimes which inspired her to progress further to an even bigger cast so when the opportunity came to choreograph crazy for you she thought it would be `crazy not to accept the challenge we re glad she did!


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a brief synopsis act one bobby child is a rich new york playboy who dissatisfied with his party lifestyle dreams of becoming a broadway hoofer but when he finally plucks up the courage to audition for the famous impresario bela zangler it doesn t go well bobby s business-like mother wants him to forget these foolish dreams and join the family banking firm and so sends him to deadrock nevada to foreclose on a smalltown theatre but when he arrives bobby promptly falls in love with the town s only woman polly baker unfortunately the only way bobby can win her trust and heart is to impersonate bela zangler and put on a show in the run-down theatre helped by his friends the girls from the zangler follies bobby succeeds in making polly fall in love with bela zangler act two with only two british travel writers for an audience bobby s plan seems to have failed and he is crestfallen and then the real bela zangler arrives in town looking for his follies girlfriend bobby and bela both drown their sorrows and when polly sees them together the next morning she isn t impressed broken hearted bobby tries to persuade polly to go on with the show but she refuses bobby returns to new york while bela decides to put on the show with polly as the star in an attempt to keep him happy bobby s mother makes him a present of the zangler theatre as bela has sunk all his money into the deadrock show realising his love won t fade bobby rushes back to nevada just as polly is preparing to follow him to new york luckily their friends rally around and arrange for the two lovers to come face-to-face in the finale national operatic and dramatic association a bingdon operatic society is very proud to be a member of the national operatic and dramatic association and you may notice members of our front-of-house team wearing their noda long service medals tonight founded in 1899 noda is divided into eleven regions each headed by a regional councillor who sits on the national council supported by a network of regional representatives these 190 volunteers are the vital link to the grass roots of the association the amateur theatre groups themselves a noda representative will be attending the show during the week and feeding back on the production with the helpful and much anticipated `noda crit a review of the performance and all aspects of the production noda s vision is that amateur theatre should be successful and sustainable providing a range of opportunities for people to develop their skills and enjoy taking part at all levels they support the education and information needs of individuals and groups contributing greatly to the continued success of amateur theatre in the uk.


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q&a when did you first walk onto a stage and to do what i was about nine years old and playing a scarecrow in some primary school production or other no not the wizard of oz i got lots of unintentional laughs from everett baker rob bertwistle the fact that my paper carrot nose which hadn t been secured properly moved in and out with my breathing i think it was from that experience that i really developed my love for playing comedy have you had any sort of theatrical training no not as such apart from some excellent workshops that aos and other drama groups i ve belonged to have put on in various aspects of theatre what was your first big role and where was that my first big role was playing a tb patient in a stage play at the playhouse theatre in preston lancashire where i hail from originally the play was called ring for catty the film version was entitled twice round the daffodils and starred the illustrious kenneth moore it was the first and probably not the last time i have died on stage all musical societies have problems attracting the shy and retiring male of the species so we asked one of our longest serving male members to tell us how he got involved and what keeps him coming back for more.


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when did you first join aos and has it changed since then i joined aos in 1989 and my first show was half a sixpence in which i played the miserable and pessimistic buggins type casting the society then was as friendly and welcoming as it is now all societies go through change high and low points but i think aos is constantly striving for excellence and to give both loyal and new audiences a truly memorable theatrical experience what s your favourite part oh it has to be playing king arthur in camelot for aos back in 1997 it was a very challenging role as a wide range of emotions were encompassed and one of my costumes was i remember very heavy so i built up some muscle too i also had to fall out of a tree onto a bean bag disguised as a snowdrift at the opening of the show which was a bit scary and of course i got to play opposite the gorgeous lynne winter who coincidentally i fall for in crazy for you do you ever get to use your theatre experience in your work i m mostly retired now but do occasional medical roleplay sessions with oxford university teaching up-andcoming medical students and newly qualified doctors communication skills so my acting experience can prove useful at times is there a role you haven t performed that you would like to there are several cracking roles i d like a shot at but the inn-keeper in les miserables springs immediately to mind a juicy character part and maybe fagin in oliver now there s a thought do you get very nervous before a performance at one time early on in my acting career i would get very nervous gut wrenching stomach ache and worse however now i m a little bit more seasoned and while i still get nervous w h o doesn t i m more in control and tend to be better prepared how do you go about learning a part i used to try to put it on cassette that ages me and listen over and over while driving now modern cars have cd players so i can t listen and learn the part while on the move any more so now mostly it is just lots of hard slog and the help of very patient friends are you aware of the eyes of the audience when you re on stage well yes i know they are there i can hear them snoring no seriously i m very aware that every eye is on me when i m doing `my bit i think the secret is to just see a mass of faces and not catch an individual s eye especially if its someone you know how do you feel when show week comes to an end very deflated more so if it s been personally a particularly interesting or memorable role of course it s sad when all the hard work and effort that everyone has put in comes to an end b u t there s always the next show to think about why do you think so few men take part in societies like aos today that s a tricky one i think if you are at all interested in the theatre either as an audience member or have aspirations to perform just come along there are many exciting ways for men to be involved in groups like aos and of course there s always the pub afterwards!


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principal cast in order of appearance tess dance director patsy dance captain bobby child new yorker bela zangler broadway producer irene roth society debutante mrs lottie child bobby s mother perkins mrs child s business assistant moose a cowboy sam a cowboy mingo a cowboy polly baker postmistress in deadrock wyatt a cowboy everett baker polly s father junior a cowboy custus a cowboy lank hawkins saloon proprietor eugene fodor a british tourist patricia fodor eugene s sister natalie biggs jane birkby duncan blagrove matthew shipman kerry chaundy lynne winter alice aldous jon ridley iain launchbury simon blainey sally hall john wilkes rob bertwistle brian miller tim shipman adrian amstead kevin pope lorna stevenson follies girls sarah carter lydia finch tara hunter rebecca peberdy jo pickering kath ridley lynda teasdale chorus kat ballard-martin mike davies deborah bater di bryan lesley donovan valerie findlay roisin graham linda harris phil hughes jane maggs charlotte middlebrook lydia owen katie rooke suzi rooke sarah walters nigel winter the orchestra violins cello double bass piccolo flute clarinet saxophone clarinet saxophone oboe cor anglais clarinet saxophone bass clarinet saxophone trumpet trumpet trombone piano percussion guitar mariette richter leader jayne dimmick alison cutting marisa miller andrea williams graeme hollingdale lorna edwards andy mears joanna thomson glyn williams paul sutton keith halliday terry gardener huw morgan chris fletcher-campbell dave hadland paul owen


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scenes and musical numbers act i scene 1 wings stage of zangler s broadway theater just before a follies finale k-r-a-z-y for you bobby i can t be bothered now bobby girls act ii scene 1 inside lank s saloon fifteen minutes later the real american folk song is a rag cowboy trio and chorus what causes that bobby zangler scene 2 main street deadrock nevada morning bidin my time cowboy trio things are looking up bobby scene 2 lank s saloon the next morning about 10 o clock naughty baby irene lank men scene 3 scene 3 lank s saloon deadrock nevada immediately following could you use me bobby polly shall we dance bobby polly backstage of the gaiety theater ten minutes later stiff upper lip eugene patricia bobby polly chorus they can t take that away from me bobby but not for me polly scene 4 backstage of the gaiety theater deadrock nevada immediately following scene 4 wings stage of zangler s broadway theater six weeks later nice work if you can get it bobby girls scene 5 main street deadrock nevadamorning three days later girls enter nevada chorus someone to watch over me polly scene 5 main street deadrock nevada three days later french reprise bidin my time cowboy trio reprise things are looking up everett finale act two company scene 6 backstage of the gaiety theater two weeks later slap that bass bobby company embraceable you polly bobby tonight s the night chorus scene 7 main street deadrock nevada immediately following i got rhythm polly chorus 20 minute interval


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bobby child duncan blagrove though usually laying the boards as a carpenter duncan has been treading them in amateur theatre for the last 20 years working with aos and other groups including oxford operatic society and abingdon drama club duncan has been privileged to play some great characters over the years but this is his first time performing in crazy for you he is very excited if not a little daunted at first to be playing bobby and getting to sing such iconic gershwin classics previous theatre credits of note include playing both cornelius and barnaby in hello dolly although not at the same time dracula in dracula spectacula lunta in the king and i alfred doolittle in my fair lady and judas in andrew lloyd webber s jesus christ superstar polly baker sally hall training at oxford school of ballet and pineapple dance studios professionally sally appeared in the nutcracker at the new theatre oxford with oxford operatic society she played roles including lorraine fleming in 42nd street maisie in the boyfriend velma in west side story hope harcourt in anything goes katie brown in calamity jane and with aos flo bates in half a sixpence also she has been a choreographer for a number of shows with oxford operatic society sally is thrilled to be returning to aos as polly a part she has always dreamed of playing and only hopes she can do the hugely famous gershwin songs justice her two boys skye aged three and jesse five months especially seem to like `i ve got rhythm all three practice together in the kitchen!


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bela zangler matthew shipman matthew is a recent graduate in english language from the university of edinburgh he has enjoyed doing musical theatre since performing in shows at larkmead school playing fagin in oliver and curly in oklahoma he was also a member of oxfordshire youth music theatre where he was uncle max in the sound of music at university he was actively involved in edinburgh university footlights a musical theatre society taking part in crazy for you for the first time as well as the pajama game anything goes and fame when he was also president of the society he is so excited to be performing in crazy for you again particularly with such a great opportunity as the part of bela zangler he would also like to stress that despite appearances is not moron irene roth kerry chaundy kerry has really enjoyed rehearsing crazy for you not only is it full of fantastic tunes but i get to play another feisty lady which is a complete change from my previous role as minnie fay in our autumn production of hello dolly she remarks she goes on to say i love being part of aos not only because we get to perform at the amey theatre but also the friendships you make i have been part of the society for twelve years now and i am lucky to have made friendships that will last a lifetime she is getting married two weeks after the show and so the last six months have been very busy for her here s wishing her a very happy married life.


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lank hawkins adrian amstead adrian tells us how much he is looking forward to the challenge of playing his grumpiest and most unpleasant character to date not to mention his biggest role so far with aos he has been a member of aos since 2006 after playing benny southstreet in guys and dolls a year ago he moved away from abingdon for work and joined a new society but he soon found that something seemed to be missing in his life and came to realise what it was the aos factor consequently since november he has been commuting up to three times a week from gloucester to take part in this show being not so much crazy for you he relates as crazy for aos and we re crazy for you too adrian mrs lottie child lynne winter from musical theatre and opera to oratorio lynne has enjoyed a varied singing career she has taken over forty leading roles with abingdon and harpenden operatic societies and has performed as a soloist with oxford touring opera in venues such as the holywell rooms and medina cathedral malta in theatre she enjoys roles which incorporate dance or comedy among her favourite parts are valencienne in the merry widow guinevere in camelot yum yum in the mikado and eliza in my fair lady she sings for weddings and after dinner entertainment and has recently recorded a professional cd which raised money for charity she has taught for many years in local primary schools and loves going to the theatre and socialising with friends and family this cameo part has some great lines!


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eugene fodor kevin pope kevin has been performing in stage musicals since his childhood in devon since moving to oxfordshire in the early 80 s to pursue a career as a development engineer kevin has been a member of both wantage and abingdon operatic societies he has played many principal roles over the years the most recent ones with aos being the major general in pirates of penzance and big jule in guys and dolls the character he plays in crazy for you eugene fodor only makes a few brief appearances throughout the show ­ so don t blink or you may miss him kevin appreciates the fact that eugene has less dance routines than any other member of the cast despite many years of performing in shows dancing has never been one of his strong points patricia fodor lorna stevenson this is lorna s fourth show with aos and after playing ruth in pirates of penzance this is her second principal role she is pleased to be playing a very very english character in an american show the accent s much easier she observes the character of patricia might lack the subtle observation of joyce grenfell and the elegance of penelope keith but hopefully she comes much nearer to the indefatigable joyous and above all english enthusiasm of a very real bunty titford whom she met while travelling in 2011 in these challenging times lorna believes that the fodors advice rings very true for us all chin up keep muddling through!



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