If you are looking for some great entertainment this weekend, a visit to South Webster to see their musical would be a good place to go. The Bloom Vernon High School Music Department is putting on Anything Goes, a 1934 musical with music and lyrics by Cole Porter. The story concerns madcap antics aboard an ocean liner bound from New York to London.
Ethan Bloomfield says they are on a Cruise ship, the USS American. the plot is really the main character Billy Crocker, basically stowing away on this boat, with some other wacky characters, like his character Moonface Martin, who is a gangster criminal and Reno Sweeney, played by Jenna Kaye Mays, who is a nightclub singer turned evangelist. Mays added that it’s more intertwining relationships, three main couples who may or may not be romantically involved somehow they all end up at the same place at the same time and then it’s just the right story. To get into character, Mays even had her hair dyed, talk about dedication.
Jenna Mays says, “It’s been fun to go back to a more traditional musical, where you have lines, choreography, and songs. There are a lot of changes from last years’ play. This show has been super cool, because it includes tap like that’s part of the show,, so we had to learn it and I had the privilege to teach it because I have taken tap and still do.”
Rhonda Mays, the director, says, “That is something we are excited to bring to our community, because we are not known for our dancing here and even our kids, but I think we sold them on it as soon as we picked the show, that we are going to dance a lot more and we are going to challenge you in that way.” Jenna Mays says, “We have really open-minded kids and boys especially, that are willing to try everything, so it’s awesome.”
Bloomfield added, “There’s never a dull moment in this musical, this musical is bright and has a lot of dancing and you can’t help but smile when you are tap dancing.” Several of the kids sitting there discussing the play chimed in with, “It’s definitely a comedy.” Rhonda Mays says that there are 16 kids that will be doing the tap dancing.
Nick Smith, plays one of the lead roles in Billy Crocker, the businessman, and he says, “I’ve had so much fun with this musical its nothing like anything I have ever done. “
Kate Claxon, Artistic Director, who is also the high school art teacher, says that with the crew, there are 74 involved in the musical, and the cast itself has 55. “And,” she said, “they all work really well together.”
Braden Martin plays another lead role, Lord Evelyn Oakleigh, who has a British accent. And when asked if he liked this musical, he says, “I do, last year was a lot more different, I was a lot more serious than I have ever been and this year it’s literally the opposite, polar opposite.”
Rhonda Mays says, “They are the best of the best, these are the kids you want to work with, in the musical.”
Smith says of his role as Crocker, “I get to play so many different characters, I get to play a Frenchman, a chef, a sailor, a woman, there are just so many different things I do.” Rhonda Mays says it is because he is trying to hide throughout the play.
As for any of them having aspirations of studying music or theatre, only Jenna Mays, a junior, who says, “I plan on studying musical theatre in college. I have already received an early acceptance at a school in New York called AMDA American Musical and Dramatic Academy, it’s one of the big ones. Over the summer, I got to go participate in one of the summer programs and they said that if I wanted to audition I could, so I went ahead and just auditioned there to see what would happen and I ended up getting in and getting a good amount of money, so that’s my plan now.”
Some of the other main characters are: Aleigha Jenkins, plays Bonnie, who is the sidekick, Hope Harcourt who is the female love interest is played by Delaney Martin, Mrs. Harcort who is Hope’s mother, played by Abbie Copas Elisha J. Whitely played by Caden Conley is Cropper’s boss.
This musical sounds like there will be a few laughs, great acting and singing and some terrific dancing. If you enjoy musicals, this one seems ready to please.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740) 353-3101 ext. 1928
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