03/06/05 — Local theater alumnus performs in touring company of 'Crazy For You'

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Local theater alumnus performs in touring company of 'Crazy For You'

By Winkie Lee
Published in News on March 6, 2005 2:02 AM

As a cast member in the Troika Entertain-ment production of the musical "Crazy For You," Whit Baldwin of Mount Olive has spent the past several months touring the country.

Next weekend, he and his fellow cast members will present five performances of the George and Ira Gershwin musical at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium as part of the Broadway Series South season.

The musical comedy includes such familiar songs as "I've Got Rhythm," "Someone To Watch Over Me" and "They Can't Take That Away From Me" -- songs Baldwin sang not so long ago as a member of the Florida State University production.

After he graduated in May with a bachelor of music degree in music theater, Baldwin auditioned for a national traveling tour of the show. He was cast as Pete the Cowboy and a member of the Cowboy Trio. He also serves as understudy for the leading role of Bobby.

After previews and rehearsals, the tour began, opening on Sept. 21 in Reading, Pa. It will end in April in New Jersey.

The Raleigh performances are scheduled for Friday through Sunday, March 11 through 13. Showtimes are 8 p.m. on March 11 and 12; 2 p.m. on March 12 and 13; and 7 p.m. on March 13. Ticket costs range from $13 through $33, depending on seat location and which show is being attended. They can be purchased at the box office or through Ticketmaster at 1-919-834-4000 or www.ticketmaster.com. There is a surcharge for tickets ordered through Ticketmaster.

Baldwin says he has been enjoying the tour.

"I've gotten to see some great cities. We've been to 30-something states and, by the end of the tour, we will have been to 42. We spend a lot of time on the bus and in hotels, but it's a lot of fun."

Several friends and family members have gotten a chance to see him perform. People he knows have attended performances in Michigan, California and Pennsylvania. He says there will be people he knows at all five Raleigh performances, and when the show arrives in Tallahassee, Fla., friends from school will be there.

Being part of a touring production is also a good way for him to save money for when he moves to New York.

Thus far, "I haven't moved anywhere," he says, "so I'm not paying rent. All I'm paying for is food and whatever I buy along the way."

After "Crazy For You" closes, Baldwin would like to be part of another traveling show and then move to New York "because that's the center of musical theater."

Baldwin, the son of Barton and Brenda Bald-win of Mount Olive, is a graduate of Southern Wayne High School and a former member of Stagestruck: The Young People's Own Theatre.

Directions to Raleigh Memorial Auditorium are: Take 70 West to 40 West. Take Exit 299 and turn right on Hammond Road. You will cross Martin Luther King Boulevard and South Street. South Street will become Person. Turn left on Lenoir Street. Go two blocks. The parking deck and parking lot are on the left. Parking costs $5 per car.