The Fayette Citizen-Weekend Page

Wednesday, March 21, 2001

Anything Goes' is Sandy Creek's spring musical


Some time in the early 1930s, Vinton Freedly found himself hiding from creditors on a fishing boat in the Gulf of Panama.

While avoiding his debt, Freedly came up with a great idea for a musical. It would deal with a stowaway on an ocean liner that was facing the threat of a possible shipwreck.

Freedly eventually returned to New York city and paid off his debts. He then began assembling his dream team and writing the show. His recruits included noted song writer Cole Porter, noted author and playwright P.G. Wodehouse, Guy Bolton and Ethel Merman. Shortly after the team began working on the musical, the SS Morro Castle went down off the coast of New Jersey and the show desperately needed a rewrite.

Now called "Anything Goes," the musical focused on nightclub singer Reno Sweeney, her friend Billy Crocker, Crocker's debutante love, Hope Harcourt, Moon Faced Mooney and Public Enemy Number One, who is stowing away to avoid the FBI.

The Sandy Creek Fine Arts Department will present "Anything Goes" March 22, 23 and 24.

The show opened at the Alvin Theatre in New York in 1934. It became the fourth longest running musical of the 1930s and an instant classic. The musical features a number of famous Cole Porter songs, including "I Get A Kick Out Of You," "You're The Top," "It's Delovely," "Let's Misbehave," and more.

The musical focuses on unrequited love and mistaken identities. Billy Crocker stows away in order to pursue a romance with Hope Harcourt. However, Mrs. Harcourt, Hope's mother, prefers Sir Evelyn Oakleigh for a son-in-law. Billy is assisted by Moonface Martin, a hapless gangster disguised as a missionary, and his frivolous sidekick, Bonnie Latour. Bonnie dreams of becoming an Angel a backup singer for Billy's friend Reno Sweeney, the infamous singer and part-time evangelist.

The shipboard romances don't go well at first. Billy persuades Reno to draw Sir Evelyn away from Hope, but his scheme has unexpected repercussions. When Billy is mistaken for Snake Eyes Johnson, Public Enemy Number One, he becomes the toast of the ship, but Hope is disappointed in his behavior. She decides to marry Sir Evelyn, despite his blossoming romance with Reno. Eventually, everything straightens out, and the ship prepares to return to New York with a full load of newlyweds.

Choreographer Jonsie Pollock has designed outstanding dance numbers for the score, including an unaccompanied tap section. Directors Millie Turek and Kathy Andersen, assisted by Missy Burns, have spent weeks working with the cast to create a production that is full of witty comedy and wonderful music.

Cast members include Giovanti Bonner as Elisha Whitney, Billy's cranky Wall Street boss, Josh Lynch as the bustling Purser, Joey Ellington as the charmingly naive Sir Evelyn, and Leia Berry as snobbish Mrs. Harcourt. Kim Davis and Heather Smith share the role of Hope Harcourt, and Cora Hicks and Jennifer Trail share the part of Reno Sweeney. The Angels Purity, Chastity and Virtue, are played by Theresa Suitt, Amber Gardner and Jennifer Brickle.

Terence Hood is featured as Billy Crocker, a "broken-down broker." Kim Brusch and Bethany Burrell team up to play Bonnie Latour against Andrew Clough and Josh Lewis as Moonface Martin. Various characters, including the ship's captain, two Chinese converts, a missionary bishop, FBI agents, a reporter, a cameraman, a stewardess and, of course, the ship's passengers, are played by additional members of the company: Jonathan Broom, Erin Burnett, Bethany Carroll, Nick Dunn, Hanna Johnson, Carly Marrs, Tracy McBurnett, Jennifer Merrill, Jessica Merrill, Delmar Powell and Ginny Rosser.

For information phone Sandy Creek at 770-969-2840, extension 259. Tickets are available at the door for $6. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 7:30.

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