The theme for the Minot State University Summer Theatre this year has been "Love! Simple word complicated outcomes."
The season's final show, "Crazy for You," opening tonight, has the most straightforward premise, according to director Aili Smith.
"Boy meets girl, it's love at first sight," she said. "It's Broadway meets Deadrock, Nev."
Bobby Child, played by Daniel Johnson, is a New Yorker and banker being sent by his mother, played by Nancy Scofield, to foreclose on a rundown theater in Nevada. There he meets Polly Baker, played by Brittany Armstrong, and the rest of the town.
"This is the love at first sight," said Smith. "In order to win her, he proposes that the town put on a show to save the theater."
The music is entirely by George and Ira Gershwin, and is set in the heyday of Busby Berkeley musicals - the 1930s - with costumes designed by Matt Dempsey. The music director is Lucas Brown, who leads about a dozen musicians, who are supporting some three dozen actors, singers and dancers.
"It's a minimalist set, with signs designating the locations," said Smith. Rather than one, there are four choreographers, with Brett Olson, who is also a member of the Cowboys quartet, handling the fight choreography, and Katie Langemo, also Tess of the Follies Girls, teaching the cast the tap routines.
"That was probably the most challenging aspect," said Smith. "We had to teach everybody tap."
Brandi Richards is credited with the "Slap that Bass" choreography, and Smith, who also directed some of the dance numbers, Slap that Bass and the tap were "Just awesome," Richards said. "There's been a great commitment from all of the cast members."
The score includes many very well-known songs, such as "Bidin' My Time," "Someone to Watch Over Me," "Embraceable You" and "I Got Rhythm." It's based on the team's 1930 musical "Girl Crazy," which launched many notable careers like Ethel Merman and Ginger Rogers, as well as Gene Krupa, Glenn Miller and Jimmy Dorsey.
"Crazy for You" is a heavily revised version, with songs from other Gershwin shows added. It won the 1972 Tony Award for Best Musical.
The show runs tonight through Tuesday at 8:30 p.m., with the box office opening one hour before. Tickets are $8 for adults, $7 for students and seniors, $5 for age 12 and under and $3 for MSU faculty, staff and summer students with current ID. There is also deck seating for $10 each. Military appreciation night, with discounted admission, is Saturday night. Reservations may be made by calling 858-3228. In the event of rain, the show is considered complete if it is more than a half-hour into the performance, with no rain checks given. If cancelled before that, rain checks will be offered.