Evergreen High School will take audiences on a madcap sea adventure this weekend with its production of the Tony Award-winning musical, “Anything Goes.”
The ocean liner sets sail onstage Friday, April 13, and Saturday, April 14, at 7:30 p.m., in the Evergreen Middle School gymnasium, 14544 County Road 6, in Metamora. Originally written in 1934, with words and music by Cole Porter, the musical’s score includes familiar songs like “De-Lovely,” “You’re the Top,” and “Friendship.”
While still set in the 1930s, EHS will present the show’s 1987 revival version, with a new book by Timothy Crouse and John Weidman. It was selected as this year’s production by longtime EHS spring musical director Kristen Woodard and co-director Melanie Yoder.
“It’s a funny show that I’ve wanted to do, and we have some great voices to go with the cast of characters,” Woodard said. “The timing just seemed right now.”
She said the musical is a wacky ride aboard an ocean liner traveling from New York City to London. Billy Crocker is a stowaway who falls for and chases after high-society passenger Hope Harcourt, an heiress engaged to Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. Billy is aided in his efforts by nightclub singer Reno Sweeney and Moonface Martin, listed with the FBI as Public Enemy No. 13.
“It’s a boy meets girl, boy chases after girl story. They help Billy in his quest to win Hope,” Woodard said.
The approximately 2 1/2 hour musical will involve 49 cast members, and nearly 60 students total on and off stage. It’s the first or second stage experience for 75 percent of the cast.
“We’ve had to do some more training and explaining because we don’t have as many experienced students to lead by example. We’re a young cast,” Woodard said. “But they are all working really hard to put on the best show possible. For a small school, we put on a pretty big show.”
Cast members auditioned in January and began rehearsing mid-February. Period costumes are being provided by 3B Costumes in Waterville, and parents designed and built the musical’s sets.
Sophomore Justin Krempec plays Billy Crocker, who uses several disguises throughout the musical to remain incognito. “Justin’s got a great voice that fits the role,” Woodard said.
Hope Harcourt is played by senior Hannah Prentiss, an all-state choir member.
Woodard said junior Claudia Cromly, who plays Reno Sweeney, “brings lots of past state experience. She’s been in many community theater productions.” And senior Jonah Blanchard, as Lord Evelyn Oakleigh, “does really well with the physical comedy in his role.”
She said in his role as Moonface Martin, Kyle Bowser works magic during his stage time with Justin Krempec.
Other roles include Erma played by junior Sarah Schwan, Evangeline Harcourt played by senior Addy Worline, and Elisha Whitney played by senior Patrick Brandt
“Each year, I hope that we are improving to make each show better and better. It’s a learning process for both the students and the adults involved each year,” Woodard said. “We’ve had great community support in the past, and are looking forward to it again this year.”
Tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for students and senior citizens. For additional information, contact EHS at 419-644-2951.
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.