Barber, Owens rely on friendship for upcoming ‘Crazy For You’ roles

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Barber, Owens rely on friendship for upcoming ‘Crazy For You’ roles

Lydia Battey, Entertainment Editor

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Ben Barber and Connor Owens, both Bearden seniors and leads in Bearden’s upcoming musical Crazy For You, have known each other for years. The Bearden theatre program solidified their friendship and is now giving them the opportunity to act together and essentially play the same role. 

Barber’s character Bobby works as a banker for his mother who asks him to travel to Nevada to foreclose on a local theater. However, Bobby ends up falling in love with Polly, the daughter of the theater’s owner. When Polly discovers who Bobby really is, she is outraged. In order to win her back, he disguises himself as Owens’s character, Bella Zangler. 

Barber and Owens became close during the production of Oklahoma!, where they were grouped together during a scene. 

“We just started being friends over that, and then it just kind of grew and evolved to us getting into a lot of trouble together,” Owens said.  

The two made it to callbacks for Crazy For You after the first round of auditions. At callbacks, Mrs. Lauren Andrejko, Bearden theatre teacher and Crazy For You director, lined up the boys shoulder to shoulder. 

It was the first of many times where Barber and Owens’s six inch height difference would be addressed.

“Barber goes ‘Oh, I see what’s happening! It’s a height thing! You’re trying to see if we’re the same height!’” Owens said. “And I mean, we weren’t, but he stood on his tippy toes and I was standing right next to him so I shrunk down a little bit.” 

Barber and Owens still landed the roles despite their difference in height; however, Barber will be wearing lifts during the performance to make the difference less obvious. 

The preexisting friendship between Barber and Owens has served as a useful tool when preparing for their roles. They’ve had to get in a similar mindset so they could act as similarly as possible.

“We meet outside of school all the time and practice it, our scenes and our songs,” Barber said. “Really, that has helped us a lot with the group mindset idea, where we have to be the exact same person and do the exact same things and have the exact same type of comedy.”

Barber reflects on one of his favorite scenes where Bobby and Zangler are drunk together. 

“It’s always really funny to goof around like that and joke about everything we’re doing and try to learn everything together,” Barber said. “It’s all just really fun with Connor because we can just do it together and enjoy it.”

The pair is ready for everyone to see their performance and enjoy all of their hard work. 

“It’s a fun show, I mean just have a good time when you go see it,” Owens said. “Watch me and Barber do the funnies, getting a little silly together.” 

Tickets for Crazy For You are on sale now at http://www.beardentheatre.com/. Opening night is Thursday at 7 p.m., and shows continue on Saturday night at 7 and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Reserved seating is $15 and general admission is $12.

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