‘Crazy’ Teacher’s amazing musical


There is an ugly rumor running rampant in the halls of Bellevue West High about theatre director Marya Lucca-Thyberg. It goes something like this: “Lucca is crazy.” Don’t scoff. You’ve seen her scrambling around the communicative arts department, screaming at her students, fellow teachers, administrators, and husband and if you haven’t jumped on the “Lucca is crazy” bandwagon, you’ve wondered. It’s okay. However, along with producer Grant Campbell, music director AJ Reimer (accompanied by a massively talented pit), and a cast of Bellevue West students, Lucca proves there is a method to her madness.

This is a musical presented by professionals. Everything is right. Lucca clearly knows what she is doing, evidenced in the surprise casting of theatre newcomers Brooke Stelly and Alec Koukol as Sgt. Sarah Brown and Sky Masterson (respectively) as well as the unorthodox choice of Katy Boone as Adelaide. I would not have made these castings. Thankfully, I am no director because these castings show the audience Lucca is a professional who picks professionals for her performances.

When Stelly, Koukol, Boone and all of the other performers take the stage, they do not act, they become. This is particularly true of Boone whose Adelaide stands up against any performance I’ve seen. I don’t know if I can make it any clearer how much I enjoy the production. This musical succeeds from beginning to end. It’s theatre magic from the pathologically entertaining Thomas Stoysich as Nathan Detroit to the hypnotic performance of another theatre newcomer (Gabe Belcastro) on one of Guys and Dolls’ signature songs: “Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat.”

I would be remiss if I did not mention the set design and production. Steve Thyberg (the aforementioned put-upon husband) works magic with a small budget and a crew of teenagers. But again, it must be easier than it looks since these students, including Jorden Charley-Whatley, Kailee Wills, Catherine Jones and many others are, in actuality, professionals. Seeing what they do with their minimal budget leaves me wondering what they would do with more money . . . . There is a rather large part of me that wants to get in touch with Warren Buffett and see if he would be willing to fund a theatre project here. He’s always throwing money at schools, right? And these guys deserve—to speak in the Guys and Dolls vernacular—da clams.

If you haven’t attended a showing yet, you still have two chances: 7:00 p.m. Friday Mar. 8 and 7:00 p.m. Saturday Mar. 9. Life is filled with missed opportunities. Don’t miss this one. See Bellevue West High’s production of Guys and Dolls. You won’t be sorry and additionally you will see one of this musical’s most prominent lessons displayed in real life. We are all filled with misconceptions. Those misconceptions can only be disproven through experience. Lucca’s production of Guys and Dolls disproves the misconception that she is crazy.

She isn’t crazy, folks. She is genius.

Aaron Stueve
Yearbook and Video Yearbook Adviser