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GTA brings George and Ira Gershwin songs to stage in 'Crazy for You'

GTA Crazy For You
The Gainesville Theatre Alliance (GTA) presents "Crazy for You" from Nov. 7-18 in Brenau University's Hosch Theater at the John S. Burd Center, 429 Academy St., Gainesville, Georgia. The GTA is a nationally acclaimed collaboration between UNG, Brenau University, theater professionals, and the northeast Georgia community.

In the 1990s, Jim Hammond sat in a theater to watch the original, Tony Award-winning Broadway cast of "Crazy for You" perform the comedic musical featuring some of George and Ira Gershwin's most well-known songs. What he saw was almost indescribable.

"I saw this incredible performance on stage and it is probably the most feel-good musical I’ve ever seen," the University of North Georgia (UNG) theater department chair said. "It's a celebration of music and love with all of these Gershwin tunes."

Now, he hopes the north Georgia community will experience the same when the Gainesville Theatre Alliance (GTA) presents "Crazy for You" from Nov. 7-18 in Brenau University's Hosch Theater at the John S. Burd Center, 429 Academy St., Gainesville, Georgia.

The GTA is a nationally acclaimed collaboration between UNG, Brenau University, theater professionals, and the northeast Georgia community. Hammond is GTA's artistic and managing director.

"Crazy for You" performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Nov 7-11 and 14-18 and 2:30 p.m. Nov 12 and 18. A free opening night reception with the cast will be in the lobby following the Nov. 7 performance. A question-and-answer session with the cast and crew will follow the Nov. 14 performance.

Before the Nov. 15 performance, the UNG Honors Program will host a tailgate party in the parking lot. Dr. Tanya Bennett, dean of the Honors Program and an English professor, came up with the idea as a way for students to connect with UNG and each other outside of the classroom.

"We don't have sports teams here on the Gainesville campus, but we have the GTA," Bennett said, noting many Georgians tailgate at their favorite sporting events on weekends. "Tailgating is a great time to bond and enjoy our community and develop pride for our university."

Honors Program students will bring refreshments to share for the potluck-style event, Bennett said. People who would like to join are asked to bring their own folding chairs.

"Crazy for You" features the Gershwin classics of "I've Got Rhythm," "Someone to Watch Over Me," "Nice Work If You Can Get It," and "Embraceable You."

Hammond said "Crazy for You" is a must-see, especially since it will feature a spectacular tap-dancing number. Hammond said the 10-minute-long routine rivals the "Step in Time" scene from "Mary Poppins."

"When you think it hits a crescendo, then it takes it to another level and then another level and then another level," he said. "It's the most exciting number I've seen on stage other than 'Step in Time.'"

And he hopes others will feel the same way once they see the musical.

"This does what musical theater does best by lightening the spirit," Hammond said.

Tickets are $28-$30 for adults, $26-$28 for seniors and $18-$20 for students. To select seats and print tickets, visit the GTA website or call the box office at 678-717-3624. (UNG students, staff, and faculty can get a free ticket with their UNG ID for selected nights, while supplies last. Other performances are $5 with a UNG or Brenau ID.)

A free stage tour of "Crazy for You" will be at 6 p.m. Oct. 24 at Hosch Theater. A preview performance will be at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 6 with tickets costing $15.

For more information or tickets, visit the GTA website.

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