Elgin's Triple Play City Shows off Drama Power with Three Plays This Weekend
Greco, Jamie, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Jamie Greco Daily Herald Correspondent
Whether theater is a passion or just an interesting way to while away one of winter's last weekends, Elgin is the place to be this Saturday and Sunday.
Elgin Academy's "Into the Woods," Elgin Theatre Company's "Run For Your Wife," and Elgin High School's "Crazy for You" should keep even the most ardent theater-goer busy.
'Crazy for You'
The cast of George Gershwin's "Crazy For You" has been preparing to perform since September, according to Rosalind Zager, vocal director and producer of the play.
"I had a lot of kids who wanted to dance," Zager said.
"So, I offered free tap dance lessons for anyone in the school.
"They just had to do three things. They had to make the commitment, buy their own tap shoes and agree to audition for the musical."
Zager hired Jaclyn Watt, who would choreograph the show in the spring, to come in on a weekly basis and teach tap to the 40 teenagers who signed up.
"It was fun to watch them get more and more competent, and really come out of their shells," Zager said.
The musical is an old-fashioned boy-meets-girl charmer directed by Jonathan Bogue.
It's short on plot and long on entertainment, according to Zager.
'Run for Your Wife'
At Theater 355, the Elgin Theatre Company is also working on a boy-meets-girl with a twist.
In "Run for Your Wife" written by Ray Cooney, the boy is a bigamist. The plot revolves around a London taxi driver, secretly married to two women. A series of mishaps results in the character's mad scramble to avoid detection, not only by his wives, but the police.
Director Larry Boller describes the play as a British farce.
"It's comedy that relies upon mistaken identities and lies, and as it builds it becomes more and more chaotic and pretty hilarious," he said.
"It requires something of an audience," Boller said.
"They have to be attentive and listen and remember who told what to whom."
Boller, who had previously performed in another production of "Run For Your Wife," has found audiences to be very entertained by the madcap twists and turns.
The cast has been gathered from Boller's experiences as an actor in many different theater companies throughout the suburbs.
"I've worked in two theater groups in Elgin, one in Naperville, one in Batavia, in Wheaton and Palatine.
"I was able to call a lot of people, so we built around a core of experienced actors - and filled it in with some really pleasant surprises. …