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QV Spring Musical Comes Together Despite Challenges

Tap-dancing sequences and intricate choreography require intense preparation.

Quaker Valley High School's production of "Crazy For You" is the result of months of work by students and production leaders who brought the complex show together despite challenging dance routines and production requirements.

Directed by Louis Valenzi, the dance-filled production is stitched together with all the best Gershwin songs and the rather silly script written by modern-day Broadway mainstay Ken Ludwig calls for a great deal of tap dancing.

Matthew Boice, the vocal director, said just about every student in the cast of 44 had to be able to tap dance in the show. Directors even included three middle-school students because they were “tap experts,” Boice said.

“It’s a lot of dancing, and dancing – it was a challenge,” Boice said. “We have a lot of good dancers, but tap dancing is not in their repertoire of dance.”

Auditions took place in September, and the cast began practicing before winter break. Students have been hard at work ever since, practicing their lines and dance steps, while the construction tech class built sets painted by art students. After-school and weekend hours were spent working to bring the show together.

Senior Johnny Falconi, who plays the lead character of Bobby Child opposite sophomore Rachael Houser, started taking tap dancing lessons last spring to perfect his role. Houser plays Polly Baker.

Secondary leads include senior Megan Grant, who plays Tess, and sophomore Jonathan Roppo, who plays Bella Zangler. Student producers are Emily Tusick and Emily Kesler, both juniors.

The pit orchestra, led by Boice, is made up of professional musicians from Pittsburgh, including high school band director Cory Neville.

Nick O'Neill, technical director, said the production was  "a big show" and difficult from a technical point of view.

"It's not an easy show," O'Neill said.

A big part of the challenge: the show's tap-dancing sequences and intricate choreography. Michael Greer choreographed the production.

Mary Lynn Pleczkowski, the show's producer, said Diana Houser was in charge of the costumes, even making some of them herself. Other costumes were borrowed from the Pine-Richland  school district, she said.

With all the hard work that has gone on behind the scenes, audiences will be pleased with the end result.

 “It’s a good show,” Boice said.

The performance runs at 7:30 p.m. tonight, Friday and Saturday, along with a 2 p.m. Saturday matinee. Tickets will be sold at the door, beginning at 5:30 p.m. on show nights, although sometimes the shows sell out.

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