Double trouble: Crazy for You

Mac McDonald

At the end of the last school year, many students attended a audition workshop and auditioned to be apart of the cast of this year’s Fall musical, Crazy for You. With only ten character roles, an unspecified number of ensemble members, and many good auditions, getting cast in the musical is hard. The day after auditions a callback list was posted. This list had the actors that are being considered for character roles. The actors were tested in the roles with other actors. They were given a song to sing or even a scene to read from as the decisions were being made. And then the day or two after callbacks, the cast list was posted. Hearts were beating in anticipation. This year when the cast list was posted both Sr. Addam Jongekryg and Sr. Matt Scheneman would be playing the role of the eccentric Hungarian theatre producer Bela Zangler. For the first time at West Ottawa, a character role has been split between two actors.

West Ottawa Harbor Lights Instructor and Director of Theater,  Joe Huber, has casted and directed many shows. “The great thing about the cast of Crazy for You is that we feel like we have an excellent cast and that everyone is playing the part best suited for them. We just happen to have two actors who were equally good during auditions and we were having a difficult time making up our minds as to who would get the part. So, we decided on them both! I am hoping that our audiences get the chance to see each of them as the role of Zangler. They each bring something different to the table, but they are both charming, funny and talented actors,” Huber said. This is the first time Huber has split a role between two actors but he has split a show. “The only other time I have split a role of a character between actors was when we did Lord of the Flies, however, that was a little different because we had two completely different casts, a female cast and a male cast. I don’t know if any directors previous to me have taken a role and split it between two actors, but it’s the first time I’ve done it,“ Huber said.

Both Jongekryg and Scheneman love theatre. Scheneman has been apart of theatre since 6th grade and Jongekryg has been apart of it since 7th grade. When the cast list was released, both actors were surprised about the role of Zangler being split. “In callbacks, I only really did one song auditioning for the Zangler role. I had not done any scenes just the one song. Yes, I was super surprised because I have never heard of a split-role in anything other than Broadway shows. And Mr. Huber has not done split roles at all as long as I’ve been in theatre, so it was a completely unknown topic to me. But, I am very excited to be sharing this role with one of my best friends. Matt will be playing the Zangler role the first weekend and I will be playing Zangler the second weekend,” Jongekryg said. “I was actually very surprised that I would be splitting a role with a friend, because it is something that has never happened before. But I was also very happy because both of us are going to be able to perform a larger role for our last musical, so one of us doesn’t have a lead and the other have strictly an ensemble part,” Scheneman said.

When one actor is playing the role of Zangler, the other is in the cowboy ensemble. Both actors have to learn two different parts. “Having to learn two roles has its ups and downs; it is a little stressful learning two parts but it is also fun. We are certainly never bored at practice because there is always something to do,” Jongekryg said. “Learning two parts is rather stressful; there are two different characters I have to work on, but it’s not that bad. Zangler doesn’t have a whole lot of time on stage, so learning another part is not too much work,” Scheneman said.

Crazy for you will be performed on November 4, 5, 6, 11, 12 at the West Ottawa Performing Arts Center. Tickets cost $8 for mezzanine seats and $10 for orchestra. It is a family friendly, high energy, fun show for everyone.