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Anything Goes!

a Musical
CATEGORY : COMEDY DRAMA MUSICAL
by Cole Porter

COMPANY : St. Mark UMC Fine Arts Drama Ministry [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Saint Mark UMC [WEBSITE]
ID# 2541

SHOWING : November 09, 2007 - November 17, 2007

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

Come sail with the cast as they tap and sing their hearts out in this classic Cole Porter show. Sailing on the S.S. American are a gangster on the run posing as a minister, his ditzy girlfriend, a former evangelist who is a nightclub singer, four tap-dancing "Angels", a society miss who is engaged to an English gentleman (also on the ship), and her ex-boyfriend that stows away on the boat to try to win her back. A series of comical mistaken identities ensues as the passengers and crew sing and dance their way across the Atlantic.


CAST & CREW LIST
Hope Harcourt Erica Clausen
Cameraman/Sailor Brad Dickey
Charity Lauren Gay
Sir Evelyn Oakleigh Paul Holland
Chastity Christia Holloway
Bishop Henry T. Dobson Phil Hulst
Reno Sweeny Michelle Jones
Elisha J. Whitney Cory King
Mrs. Harcourt Mary Keith Lee
Reporter David McFadden
Virtue Katie O'Neill
Bonnie Amanda Leigh Pickard
Moonface Martin Paul Pisanick
Billy Crocker Russell Rhodes
Purity Rebecca Wood
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

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Saint Mark Steps Out with Anything Goes!
by lizawithaz
Monday, November 19, 2007
4.5
I am happy to offer a 4.5 to this production after attending the Friday, November 16th performance. Overall, the production was well-directed and rightly appreciated by the sold-out crowd, the only minor hiccups being an orchestra that would occasionally speed up or overpower the actors with its volume and problems with microphones that, while not pervasive, should be addressed before future shows.

I’ll begin with costumes. The costumes for this show were exaggerated and colorful, but remained relatively period and character-specific. The conservative attire of Hope, Mrs. Harcourt and Sir Evelyn, for example, served as a staunch contrast to Reno and her Angels who showed enough skin and cleavage to warrant a PG-13 rating. I was surprised by the number of costume changes and impressed by the array of colors, designs and textures.

The choreography of the show was wonderful. Admittedly, the cast had varying degrees of dancing skills, but the fervor with which the songs were approached was inspiring, and the choreographer did not sacrifice complexity for absolute synchronization, which was bold and ultimately paid off…all of the cast was quite good in the larger ensemble pieces, and the better dancers were utilized well. Stand-out performances included “Heaven Hop,” “Anything Goes,” and “Take Me Back to Manhattan.”

I thought the show was well cast with a diversity of performers in roles that purists might find a bit uncomfortable. Russ Rhodes was convincing as Billy, and Erica Clausen had enough “naughty with her nice” to make Hope interesting. Paul Holland and Michelle Jones had an undeniable chemistry as Sir Evelyn and Reno Sweeney, culminating in “Let’s Misbehave,” which was an audience favorite. Mary Keathe Lee was FANTASTIC as Mrs. Harcourt; her mannerisms and a surprise moment in “Heaven Hop” left the audience roaring with laughter. The Angels were wonderful too and not in the monotypic way that many have come to expect from “Anything Goes.” Sure, there were differing degrees of dancing skills amongst them, but their wonderfully hued and coiffed wigs - coupled with bright and often revealing costumes - ensured that one’s eyes did not wander far from them when on stage, and a couple of them (Lauren Gay as Charity and Rebecca Wood as Purity) returned the favor by flirting with the audience.

Overall, I think that this was a solid effort by the Saint Mark Fine Arts Department. There’s something to be said for big productions in small spaces – Saint Mark’s “Anything Goes” was ambitious, unexpected and over-the-top, and I like my “Anything Goes” that way.

Great job.
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Mixed Bag
by BenAround
Thursday, November 15, 2007
4.0
Huge Cole Porter fan here and I have been in this show before. With that out of the way... My feelings on this production are mixed. I attended the Wed Nov. 14 show with a sold-out crowd who enjoyed the show very much. It was obvious that this group is well-supported by the church and community.

PROS
Costumes and Choreography - Both outstanding throughout!
Performances - Erica Clausen, Paul Holland, Cory King, Mary Keith Lee, Paul Pisanick and Amanda Pickard were spot on as were the majority of the minor roles and the entire chorus of salors and passengers.

CONS
Casting Concerns - I felt that Russell Rhodes (while a legit triple threat in his own right) was simply too old to play a convincing Billy based on the casting of Hope. What worked very well for the Sir Evelyn/Hope age difference worked the against the chemistry for Billy & Hope. Michelle Jones was a viable actress and dancer but just did not have that extra oomph (is that a word?) for the brassy Reno in her singing. Although I will say she was battling a VERY LOUD orchestra at times, to her credit and the microphones were only intermittently working. The Angels worked together well enough, but needed to be closer to the same body type and age. There were noticeable differences among this quartet which should be all the same. The blond wigs were a nice touch, but not quite enough to pull it off. Some obviously had more dance talent than others as well.
Orchestra - Balance was already mentioned, nuff said. Get your guitar/banjo player something decent to wear. The other guys looked very sharp in their tuxes while he stuck out in his polo shirt and jacket.
Microphones - as previously mentioned. They need to work. Period.

HIGHLIGHTS
Moonface - Be Like the Bluebird, Mrs. Harcourt singing generally throughout the show (unexpected, yea!), Billy and Hope - All Through the Night (which I usually despise) was simply charming and perfect, and all the tap numbers. Also the chemistry between Moonface and Bonnie was excellent.

DISMAL
The repeated sailor number for the scene changes was clever the first time and cute the second. After that the audience wanted less (MUCH LESS). Simple instrumental music would have worked for the shorter changes as the show progressed.

Before I get a lot of hate mail, please note how many things I liked about the show. Do not focus only on the negative, but take those honest comments in the spirit given.

My two cents is way spent now,
Ben [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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