Walt Whitman High School Anything GoesBy Cappies • Dec 5th, 2012 • Category: Cappies
The sea is calm, the sun is shining, and the passengers are, supposedly, all on board. It looks to be a peaceful voyage for the picturesque fiancées of Ms. Hope Harcourt and Sir Evelyn Oakleigh, full of tender affection and sweet nothings. Well, not if Billy Crocker can help it! The suave master of disguises, with the assistance an infamously alluring nightclub singer and a gangster with a heart of gold, will do anything to break up the so-called happy couple. Hold on to your hats, because a storm is brewing; this trip is going to be anything but smooth sailing. With swapping affections, mistaken identities, and rousing refrains, Walt Whitman High School’s production of Anything Goes was nothing short of extraordinary.
Anything Goes, with music and lyrics by Cole Porter, first opened on Broadway in 1934. The musical has been frequently rewritten and adapted for the stage and screen; the version presented at Walt Whitman was the 1962 Off-Broadway revival. The musical is a farcical comedy set aboard a London-bound ship, featuring the entwining mischief of an assorted cast of characters and the wacky shenanigans and whimsical flirtations that result from their peculiar interactions.
Reno Sweeney, played with spunky pizzazz by Erin Craig, was the undeniable heart of the show. With her staggering vocals, seasoned dancing, and dynamic acting, Craig was the genuine manifestation of a triple threat. In contrast to some other members of the cast, she clearly understood the humor behind every line and committed herself fully to the nonsensical nature of the show. Her voice was utterly breathtaking, commanding attention with its electric tone. Her leading man, Billy Crocker (Bryan Eng), held his own against her explosive talent. Eng’s impressive voice was refreshing and his aptitude for accents was the source of many priceless moments.
Bolstering these formidable leads was a diverse supporting cast, full of vibrant and charismatic characters. Bonnie (Michelle Huey), the ditzy wannabe Angel, was particularly enthralling. Her eye-catching physicality and flashy personality were truly captivating. Sir Evelyn (Lucas Weals) was also entertaining, his perfectly awkward disposition and excellent comic timing leaving the audience in hysterics. Weals had also convincing chemistry with romantic interest Reno, making for many adorably sweet moments between the two.
The cast as a whole must be congratulated for their brilliantly synchronized tap routines. Such large numbers as the fabulous “Anything Goes” were carried out spectacularly, suffering from only a minute amount of missteps. Reno’s Angels were particularly notable for their coquettish behavior and genuine enthusiasm.
The technical work on this production was absolutely magnificent. Lighting was used to highlight certain areas of the set to great effect, creating many different locations onboard this ship. The swift and silent stage crew also contributed to the creation of different areas with their flawless transitions. Costumes especially shone, with vivid colors and sparkling accessories. They were also period appropriate, highlighting all the beautiful styles of the Roaring Twenties.
Everything but the kitchen sink was thrown onto this tiny little ship, blending together into a breathtaking display of chaos and discord. However, when all the unlikely parts came together, it resulted in one sensational production. Walt Whitman High School’s performance of Anything Goes left the audience in total awe.
by Emma Paquette of McLean High School
Photos by Marcus De Paula
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