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The cast of "Anything Goes" hits the final pose of the play's namesake musical number in a rehearsal Thursday.
November 13, 2012
DALLAS -- It's a story about a man and a woman falling in love on a boat while crossing the Atlantic.
A perfect romance ... except she's about to be married to a handsome and rich English gentleman and he's a stowaway.
Thus begins the comic adventure that is "Anything Goes," Dallas High School's fall production, which opens Thursday night at Bollman Auditorium.
The Cole Porter musical is half sweep-you-off-your-feet love story and half witty, fast-paced comedy.
Lead characters Billy Crocker (Ben Burgess) and Hope Harcourt (Melissa Golly) meet in a cab in New York City. Finding her irresistible, Billy, a Wall Street broker, decides to sneak aboard the S.S. American, headed for London and Hope's impending nuptials, to steal her away from her fiance, Sir Evelyn Oakleigh (Tim Theissen).
Billy is helped by an unlikely cast of characters: his friend and evangelist-turned-lounge singer Reno Sweeny (Hannah Fawcett), gangster Moonface Martin (Paul Disney) and his accomplice, Bonnie (Jade Beattie).
"It was written in a time, in the 1930s, when the economy was challenging," said Dallas High theater teacher Blair Cromwell. "It's escapist, lovely fun. It's beautiful people doing fun things in fun places who speak English better than we do."
And it's singing and dancing -- lots of tap dancing.
The chorus spent hours in rehearsal learning -- some had no training before -- to tap dance. Those hours have translated into dance numbers that were impressive in last week's first dress rehearsal and should be sure audience-pleasers come opening night.
Mya Hoskisson, a senior, plays one of Reno's four backup singers, the Four Angels. She said her last experience with tap dancing was as a small child, so she had to relearn from the musical's four choreographers.
Billy Crocker (Ben Burgess), center, meets Sir Evelyn Oakleigh (Tim Theissen) as Hope Harcourt (Melissa Golly) and Mrs. Harcourt (Hannah Lagler) look on.
"With the speed that we've had to learn ... it's really been a challenge," she said.
It's also developed a sense of teamwork among cast members, which Hoskisson said adds to the fun they have on stage portraying outsized characters doing outlandish things.
Hoskisson said her character has spent a lot of time in lounges as part of Reno's act, so the trip aboard the "American" is exciting.
"She's going out in the world for the first time," Hoskisson said. "She has this childlike enthusiasm."
That sentiment permeates "Anything Goes," even in the presence of such criminals as Moonface Martin, aka "Public Enemy No. 13," and gangster moll, Bonnie.
They may be rough, if not a little inept, but they have a soft spot for Billy's plight and try to help him, often with comic results.
Paul Disney, also a senior, plays Moonface, a gangster trying to raise his criminal profile.
He and Bonnie use devious tactics to hide Billy from the ship's crew, but will it work long enough for him to win Hope?
Disney said the plot twists and ridiculous antics the lead characters get themselves into makes the musical a wild ride.
"It's really fun," he said. "It's nostalgic and we are hoping that people will come and have a good time."
What: "Anything Goes," Dallas High School's fall musical.
When: Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., and a Saturday matinee at 2 p.m.
Where: Bollman Auditorium, Dallas High School, 1250 SE Holman Ave.
Of note: DHS is collecting food for its annual canned food drive, a benefit for Dallas Christmas Cheer. A donation bin will be in the lobby at all performances.