S. ABINGTON TWP. — A student cast of about 35 actors and actresses, singers and dancers will take audience members back to the early 1930s in Abington Heights High School’s upcoming production of “Anything Goes,” with three performances scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 16, 17 and 18 in the high school auditorium.
Tickets, which can be purchased at the school’s main office during regular school hours before the show or at the box office on performance nights, are $7 for students and seniors and $10 for adults.
The musical was written by Guy Bolton, P. G. Wodehouse, Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, with music and lyrics by Cole Porter. The Abington Heights production is directed and choreographed by Nick Lazor.
The show’s plot is set on an ocean liner sailing from New York to London.
According to the play’s synopsis on stageagent.com, the ship’s “comically colorful assemblage of passengers” includes “Reno Sweeney, a popular nightclub singer and former evangelist, her pal Billy Crocker, a lovelorn Wall Street broker who has come aboard to try to win the favor of his beloved Hope Harcourt (who is engaged to another passenger, Sir Evelyn Oakleigh), and a second-rate conman named Moonface Martin, aka ‘Public Enemy #13.’”
“Song, dance, and farcical antics ensue as Reno and Moonface try to help Billy win the love of his life,” reads the synopsis.
High school senior Katie Gilhooley, who was a member of the school’s ensemble cast for “Beauty and the Beast” during her freshman year and performed as Sally in “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown: The Musical” in spring 2016, stars as Reno in the production. She describes her character as a “very fun” role.
“She’s very confident,” Gilhooley said. “She’s flirtatious. She doesn’t take orders from anybody – she’s no nonsense.”
Of the play itself, she said, “It’s so much fun. It’s high energy.”
Jeffrey Barlow, a junior, will perform as Evelyn, whom he described as an English lord who “doesn’t ‘get’ American culture.
“Throughout the play, he’s always asking what things mean, and a lot of things go over his head,” Barlow said.
This, he explained, adds many laughs to the script.
Another returning cast member is Kyra Beckish, a senior, who has participated in each of the school plays since she was a freshman. In “Anything Goes,” she is performing as Erma, Moonface Martin’s partner in crime.
Beckish enjoys acting because it gives her the opportunity to “escape from everyday life” and “be someone else” for a couple of hours. She likes portraying the role of Erma, in particular, because the character is the opposite of her own personality in many ways.
Erma, she said, is “very confident about herself…very attractive. She’s wanted by all of the sailors and they follow her around.”
She described herself as “quiet,” generally preferring not to talk a lot.
According to Lazor, the show’s cast, although significantly smaller than that of the school’s last production, is filled with talent.
“They are working really hard…to make it the best show it can possibly be,” he said, adding he believes the audience will be pleased with the musical.
“The dancing and choreography of that time period (the 1920s and 30s) is so inspiring,” he said.