Theatre Information

Stone Bridge High School Anything Goes

By • Apr 27th, 2012 • Category: Cappies, Virginia

As the lights went down on the stage at Stone Bridge High School, the audience was invited to climb aboard the S.S. American and join nightclub singer of questionable morals Reno Sweeny, the young Wall Street broker Billy Crocker, Public Enemy #13 Moonface Martin, the heiress Hope Harcourt, and her fiancé Sir Evelyn Oakleigh in a farce of epic proportions.

Anything Goes, music and lyrics by Cole Porter and a book by Guy Bolton and P. G. Wodehouse, was written in the 1930s as a relief from the woes of depression. It has become a well-beloved classic, a favorite choice for high schools and community theatres and revived several times on Broadway and in London.

As the story begins, Hope Harcourt (Natalie Martell) is sailing to London where she will be married to her fiancé of many years Sir Evelyn (Chris Sanderson). Before the boat sets sail she runs into Billy (Daniel Delaney), her true love. She spurns him and Billy turns to his friend Reno Sweeny (Tori Fantasia) to help him win back the love of Miss. Harcourt by seducing Sir Evelyn. Meanwhile, criminal Moonface Martin (Ian Peterson) dressed as a clergyman has escaped from the authorities and becomes entangled in the lover’s plotline when he volunteers to help Reno seduce Evelyn.

Ian Peterson shone in his role as Moonface. He mastered the over-the-top caricatures of the 1930s musicals in his mannerisms and loud New York accent. His talents extended to singing as well during “Friendship” with Reno and Billy, and his solo “Be like the Bluebird.” When the gun malfunctioned, he stayed perfectly in character and had the audience roaring with laughter with his recovery.

Tori Fantasia played a sultry Reno Sweeny, her jazzy voice charming the audience during such songs as “You’re the Top” (With Delaney), “Blow, Gabriel, Blow” and of course, the explosive titular tune “Anything Goes.” Her chemistry with Sanderson was sweet and believable, her booming stage presence complimenting his sweet, earnest portrayal. Martell and Delaney played the straight-men of the show while still managing to engage the audience with their innocent love in slower numbers such as “All Through the Night.”

The set was beautiful and well executed, if typical for the production. The production consisted of nearly 80 cast members, many of whom were wearing hand-made costumes. Several costumes were beautiful and enhanced the personality of the characters; however some of the ensemble costumes did not adhere to the time period. Though at times it was difficult to hear the actors and the lighting struggled during the second act, Stone Bridge High School produced a sparkling show that had the audience rolling in their seats and smiling long after the curtain had closed on the finale.

by Julia Timko of Albert Einstein High School

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