SS American Set Sail For “Anything Goes”!
Audiences set sail on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 29, 30 and 31 as MHS wished the community bon voyage in “Anything Goes.” Full of big dance numbers, comedy and the talents of the company, we were thoroughly delighted to take a voyage with the cast of “Anything Goes!”
“Anything Goes” takes place aboard the SS American sailing from New York to England. On board are celebrities: the beautiful American heiress Hope Harcourt (stunningly portrayed by Katelynn Mellott), her fiancé Sir Evelyn Oakleigh (superbly portrayed by Larkin Shearer), and Hope’s mother, Mrs. Wadsworth T. Harcourt (Sara Beth Winegardner). Other travelers arriving aboard are Bishop Dobson (Doug Seiders), with two Chinese converts, and Elisha J. Whitney, a Wall Street broker (portrayed by Ashton Doyle). Reno Sweeney ( beautifully played by Emily Watkins), ex-evangelist turned lounge singer and her not-so-angelic angels (Brandi Welsh, Kayla Reimold, Kelsey Ramsey and Jessica Nero) are also passengers on the SS American.
We meet Billy Crocker (handsomely played by Cole Johnston) who is a broken- down broker working as an assistant to Mr. Whitney and Moonface Martin (masterfully portrayed by Nick Mc- Clure), public enemy number 13 and a fugitive from the feds. His friend in crime, Bonnie (Marleigh Jennings), sails with him.
At sea the fun really begins and the plot grows quickly. It’s a wonder that all the romances are sorted out and disaster is averted, but indeed they were all aboard the magical ship where “Anything Goes.”
Erica Sexton completed her second production with MHS as director. Erica is to be congratulated for providing the community with a wonderful theatre experience through her devotion to the students and production crew. Her experience in theater was evident in her ability to cast students in roles most suited to their personalities and talents. With the assistance of Sarah Paylor, her ability to charm and entertain audiences through the variety and difficulty of the scene sequences is commended as the story was carried forward and the talented young actors showcased brilliantly.
Noreen Mann continued to show her devotion to the cast and crew as music director. She and the orchestra made up of Carolyn Kerlin, Bryce Wilford, Phil Debski, Steve Petrullo and Debbie Reed provided, as always the most impressive musical support. Noreen’s effort and selfless giving of her time allowed the director and production team to benefit from the talent nurtured from the high school students.
Melissa Horton and Marjorie Sexton as costume mistresses were a wonderful accomplishment. The challenge to provide costumes for a variety of scene changes and sequences is one that they achieved masterfully. They are to be commended for their array of costumes, including the stunning visual effect during the large group numbers that brought the characters to life.
Susan Cubbage completed her first year as stage and set designer. With the help of Chad Mellott, John Mellott, and Caleb Christy, Sue was masterful at transforming the stage into the decks and staterooms of the S.S. American. We were fortunate to have Sue also as the stage manager and Doug Seiders as set crew manager. The production crew should be commended for bringing the story to life.
Choreographers Clarissa Kissinger and Sarah Paylor were delightful at bringing the show to life through their intricate tap dance numbers and endearing ensemble numbers. We were fortunate to have such lovely and professional women as a part of this year’s production.
This is Nancy Shearer’s 12th year producing MHS musicals. Nancy’s dedication to the students involved and professionalism toward the production crew as she works tirelessly behind the scenes shows her love of musical arts. She is attentive to details and ensures that all the final touches of the show are in place to reward audiences with wonderful performances.
The behind-the-scenes crew, from hair stylists, make-up crew, lighting and spots, the maintenance staff of the high school, to the community and businesses who donated monetary support, each should know that they are appreciated by the fabulous performances given. Without their support, this musical could not happen.
In addition to the generosity of several local individuals and businesses, this project was supported by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency, through the Pennsylvania Partner in the Arts (PPA), its regional arts funding partnership. PPA is administered in this region by the Cultural Alliance of York County.
“Anything Goes” is McConnellsburg High School’s 26th musical production since 1984.