Bellarine Theatre Co. Performing ‘Anything Goes’ at STAC

Apr 17, 2018

Bellarine Theatre Co. will present the young performers edition of “Anything Goes” this Friday and Saturday, April 20 and 21, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 22, at 3 p.m. at the Stafford Township Arts Center. Tickets range from $15 to $22 (VIP seating) and may be purchased online at btco.booktix.com, by calling 609-661-2083, or at the door up to one hour before each performance.

Bellarine, as has become its custom, will also offer a free special needs preview performance at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 19. It will be performed in a friendly and comfortable environment with reduced volumes and lighting and a relaxation room. Yes, the special preview is free! Groups that include children or adults with special needs are welcome to attend. For more information, visit bellarinetheatre.com, click on “Contact Us,” and send an email.

Now, as The Who sang decades ago, the kids are alright. These shows not only will be performed by a cast of sixth- to ninth-grade students, but will be directed (Hattie Kenduck) and choreographed (Meagan Hoer) by high school students.

Funny, though, that “Anything Goes” is one of the oldest musicals commonly performed by modern theatrical troupes. It opened on Broadway way back in 1934! Its staying power rests in Cole Porter’s music and lyrics. Porter pumped out a fistful of classic songs for this show such as “I Get a Kick Out of You,” “You’re the Top,” “Friendship,” “It’s De-Lovely,” “Blow Gabriel, Blow” and the title tune. It doesn’t hurt that it also has a hilarious book written by Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse and revised by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse that combines important elements of musicals and farce – young love and mistaken identities.

Billy Crocker (Nicholas Somodi), a young Wall Street broker, has fallen in love with a girl he shared a taxi ride with, the heiress Hope Harcourt (Rachel Vazquez). Billy goes dockside to wish a bon voyage to his boss, Elisha J. Whitney (Mitchell Critelli), and his friend Reno Sweeney (Nadia Jewel Vito), an evangelist turned nightclub singer, who are sailing to England. When Billy sees Hope boarding the ship, he stows away so that he can try to win her heart.

Meanwhile, Moonface Martin, a.k.a. Public Enemy 13 (John Mastandrea), wants to avoid the authorities by escaping to Europe, so he steals the identity of the ship’s chaplain and mounts the gangplank. Billy innocently helps him board the ship, so Moonface gives him a passport and ticket to make up for the favor. Unfortunately they originally belonged to Moonface’s boss, Snake Eyes Johnson, which causes Billy major problems later in the cruise.

Confusion reigns. Hope is headed to England with her betrothed, Lord Evelyn Oakleigh (Jonathan Leach). But she is soon attracted to Billy. Alas, she can’t back out of marrying Evelyn. Her once-rich family has fallen on hard times (it is, after all, the middle of the Great Depression), and Evelyn’s family has money. Meanwhile, Reno has eyes for Billy and Evelyn has the hots for Reno. The situation becomes even more complex when Hope’s mother (Madelyn Balko) unmasks (actually un-beards) Billy and everyone mistakes him for Snake Eyes.

Oh yeah, this is a funny show.

The name of the ship everybody is sailing on is the S.S. American. Bellarine’s production is sure to make the American great again!

— Rick Mellerup

rickmellerup@thesandpaper.net

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