The scene could have come out of the vintage movie "Marjorie Morningstar," in which Natalie Wood, as Marjorie, auditioned for a part in a theme park show before the handsome director Noah Airman, played by Gene Kelly.
Monday afternoon in the Ramada Renaissance Hotel in Cheektowaga, Marcy L. Hardy, 16, of East Aurora sang and danced for David W. Girton, a producer-director, as well as president and chief executive officer of Show Biz International.
Marcy and some 80 other young singers, dancers and musicians tried out for a musical revue called "Celebrations" to be staged this spring and summer at Darien Lake Theme Park in Darien Center.
Like Marjorie, who got her first taste of the stage at a resort and campgrounds in upstate New York where she spent her summers, Marcy has served food and operated rides at Darien Lake in recent summers.
"I don't want to make myself too happy," Marcy said while going through stretching exercises, seated on the floor with legs and arms outstretched, toes pointed and nose touching knees. "I guess the best thing to do is be prepared for the worst."
But the worst did not happen. She pleased the critics, judges and the media with her combination of acrobatics and grace. The key to a good performance, she said, is "to play up to 'em. Make it look like you're having fun."
Marcy said she hopes to be one of about 10 performers chosen from Monday's round of open auditions. Those who make the cast will be notified in late February, Show Biz workers said.
Show Biz is on a nationwide talent hunt looking for singers, dancers, musicians, magicians and costumed characters, who are at least 16 years old, to strut their stuff during the 1990 summer season. Girton is looking for multitalented young people willing to step outside their specialty and do a little of everything.
"I'm pleasantly surprised because the performers are more prepared than usual," Girton said. "Most of the time dancers dance and singers sing. I see a lot of young talent who are somewhat attuned to what we want."
Nationally, Girton and Show Biz International will audition close to 3,000 young performers nationwide this year. About 350 of them will be selected to perform at parks across the country including Darien Lake.
Darien Park is among the top 30 theme parks in the country, said Barbara Harrington, spokeswoman for the park.
The theme park, which draws about 1.3 million visitors a year, has branched out with the shows and a kiddy park for families with young children. Darien's more traditional amusements include more than 100 rides, a 2,000-site coaster in the country -- that will be unveiled Memorial Day weekend.
Photos: ROBERT KIRKHAM/
Marcy Hardy of East Aurora limbers up before her audition...
Marcy talks strategy with Becky Wolfe of Sanquoit, N.Y. while, at right, John Morse is measured for his costume...
Jennifer Schure of Lakeview and Krissy Fero of Blasdell await their turn...
David Girton, right, and Will Minsterman size up the competition, while Marcy, at right, remains hopeful...
Marcy finally gets her chance at center stage. She'll know in six weeks whether she made it...