Tri-State Theater

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Interview #2 with the Cast of "Crazy for You"

   Here’s the second in our series of interviews with the cast of Crazy for You, the Gershwin musical that opens this weekend at the Renaissance Theatre (the old Huntington High School).

   Today let’s hear from the lovely and talented Jocelyn Clark-Knapp, who plays an All-American Girl:

Q: For those not familiar with the show, tell us about Crazy for You.

Jocelyn: Between Ira and George Gershwin’s lyrics/music and Ken Ludwig’s writing, this musical offers something for everyone. While Bobby Child chases his dream to be a Broadway star, his mother is determined to keep him in banking. During a work assignment to foreclose on a theater in a rundown town in Deadrock, Nevada, Bobby meets and falls for Polly Baker. Instead of foreclosing on the theater he decides he could try to help save the theater and town. Saving a rundown theater and winning the girl of his dreams is not a one man job.  With the help of his Showgirl friends from New York City, two worlds collide to make some of the most memorable and exciting show stopping numbers in musical theater.

Q: Tell us about the character you play.

Jocelyn: I am honored to play Polly Baker, the “All American Girl” from Deadrock, Nevada. Polly is a headstrong cowgirl who makes a living delivering mail and keeping the lazy town of Deadrock awake. She lost her mother and is now the only female within miles of town. Polly secretly longs to find her special someone but wouldn’t ever admit to it, until she meets Bella Zangler. Before New York City and Bobby’s visit to Deadrock, I don’t think she even realizes what love could be. 

Q: I understand this show required a lot of rehearsal.

Jocelyn: I am a member of ARTS Resident Acting Company. Last year when I received the offer to play Polly Baker I couldn’t wait to get started. I have been humming along to these songs since January and will probably be singing them long after the final curtain drops. Coni Anthony, our choreographer, challenged me from day one with dance steps and now I can proudly say I can do a triple time step (fancy tapper talk for “lots of noise at one time with my taps”). Along with singing and dancing, this role has pushed me to think beyond a traditional character role and into the life of Polly Baker. I couldn’t be more honored to be part of this production.

Q: What's your favorite song (or scene or dance) in the show?

Jocelyn: This is such a hard question because each song/dance has such a special place for me within the show. But my favorite song/dance in the show is the first full number with Bobby and Polly, “Could You Use Me/Shall We Dance.” It is one of the first numbers we choreographed and has been a great experience from day one. Not only do you get to see both characters and their beginning feelings for each other but you also hear the fun upbeat carefree spirit of Gershwin’s music.

Q: What's your background in theatre?

Jocelyn: I am a current ARTS Resident Member. I played Mazy this past spring in “The Boyfriend” and was a Showgirl in our “Much Ado About Nothing” production. I have played Rosemary in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” and The Favorite in “Will Rogers Follies.” In high school I was bitten by the theater bug and have participated in several community theater productions over the last 10 years.

Q: If one of our readers is thinking about trying out for a show, what advice would you give them?

Jocelyn: Go for it! Your audition pieces don’t have to be overly technical, but show your best efforts. Directors holding auditions for a show want you to be successful and want participants, so show them what you got! Being nervous to sing, act, or dance for someone is normal, but they aren’t there to tear you down. The more auditions you do, the better you become.
Q: Why would you recommend this show?

Jocelyn: It seems to me this show has it all: classic music, amusing dialogue, and fantastic dance numbers. One of the most important things this show – and most shows from ARTS have – is the cast.  As an audience member you will be able to see the love for theater from every person on stage. We are a close knit group who genuinely cares for each other and you will be able to see that too. It is a family friendly show for all ages and guaranteed to keep you at the edge of your seat the entire performance. There hasn’t EVER been a better time to be at ARTS – Won’t You Join Us?
   Thanks, Jocelyn!

The musical Crazy for You will be staged at the Renaissance Theatre at 900 8th Street on Oct. 24, 25, 31 and Nov. 1 at 8 p.m., and Oct. 26 and Nov. 2 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for the show, and $30 for dinner and the show - to make dinner reservations, call 304-733-2787.

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