When you hear the terms “stand by for lights”, “curtain open” or “fade to black” you may wonder what they are all about. For those involved with the theater though, they are recognizable as production commands.
Beginning March 15th the Magic Valley Dilettantes will perform “Crazy for You” based upon the character Bobby Child, a banker employed by his mother in New York. Child dreams of dancing on Broadway and is disheartened when sent to the desolate Deadrock, Nevada charged with foreclosing an old, rundown theater. His downed spirits are lifted, however, after losing his heart to Polly Baker, daughter of the theater’s owner.
This light-hearted play is set to the oldie-but-goodie, toe tapping tunes of George Gershwin. When asked what an audience could take away from this performance, director Lori Henson said, “If they don’t leave absolutely singing or humming out loud, we have failed.”
Aware that lively tap routines were integral to the production, Ivan Hardcastle took private dance lessons hoping to secure the leading role of Bobby Child.
“It’s always enjoyable to me when somebody hears what show we’re doing in the summer and sets their sights on getting a part and doing everything they can,” Henson stated.
Once those parts are obtained though, the real work begins. Erin Kauppila, who plays the part of Bobby’s romantic interest, rehearses with the full cast until 10:30 p.m. each evening then continues with dance numbers until midnight. Hard work and dedication are what it takes to bring a show together.
Though performers typically receive most of the glory, everyone hidden behind the scenes is a huge part of a show’s success. There are props, set, sound, light, hair and makeup teams only to name a few. This year Penny Aufderheide stepped up to the big task of costume designing while Wendy Kerr provides specialty makeup and choreographer, Jon Sweet, brings the excitement alive through dance numbers.
As for the setting of rehearsals, the Dilettantes used to be a theater group without a home, practicing in whatever location would have them. Recently a permanent locale was found in the Encore Performance and Event Center.
“This property gives the production company a place to rehearse, store costumes and props,” Henson notes.
For fifty-five years this non-profit group has relied on entirely on community support.
“To be in the show, audition or help back stage we are a community organization and could use the help,” said Henson.
If interested in joining the Dilettantes they are always looking for members, especially males.
“I always tell boys if they want to meet girls, be in a show,” laughed Lori.
“Crazy for You” will be held at the College of Southern Idaho Fine Arts Auditorium running March 15th through the 18th. Curtains rise at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday with two matinee performances at 2:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.