BWW Review: ANYTHING GOES! at Kennard-Dale High School
Under the Direction of James Craley and Barbara Peterson, and the Musical Direction of Matthew Barr, ANYTHING GOES! is lead by Julia Wecker (Reno Sweeney), Cierra Wecker (Hope Harcourt), Daniel Riale (Billy Crocker), and Ian Ross (Moonface Martin). The production splashes wildly with excitement, enthusiasm and talent.
ANYTHING GOES! is set aboard the S.S.. American where nightclub sensation Reno Sweeney is traveling from New York to England. Along with her is Billy Crocker, who has stowed away on the ship to be near his true love, Hope Harcourt. Hope, however, is engaged to Sir Evelyn Oakleigh (Vincent Skinner). Moonface Martin joins Reno in helping Billy find his way to Hope's heart. Along the way, there are plenty of disguises, show stopping tap dancing, and silly, scrupulous shenanigans to entertain the audience.
Because everyone is so vital in the success of a show, it is noted that the chorus of men and women execute their lines, dances and songs with precision. Their joy radiates and entertains. Choreographer Barbara Patterson achieves a kaleidoscope of astonishing and technical moves which the cast executes with presence and confidence. The act one ends with the title song, "Anything Goes." Every actor delivers the necessary performance elements that make this number a standout.
From her first lines, Julia Wecker personifies the gritty and charismatic character of Reno. Her diction and inflection are executed with confidence, and she never wavers. Wecker demands the focus, holds it as it thrashes about and then throws it at the audience, sticking the landing every time. When Ross joins Wecker on "Friendship," the comedic timing and quality of the song could not be better by both actors. Ross is impressive with his comedic subtleties. The interaction among the two is believable and just plain fun to watch.
Raile plays his role with polish and a debonair quality. His duet with Cierra Wecker in "Easy to Love," is well done. Cierra Wecker's voice is like a polished piece of glass; precious and pure with no rough edges. Her interpretation of the song "Goodbye, Little Dream, Goodbye," is divine and delivers the production's emotional theme marvelously.
On the technical end of the show, the set, designed by Barbara Peterson, is a creation of artistic integrity, missing only some more two-dimensional details with contrasting colors to offset the one-dimensional use of beige. By doing so also allows the opportunity for some cleverly designed signage, with the addition of objects, to be scattered about lending realistic visuals, not to mention some witty double entendres. Act Two's colorful art deco center stage design is a wonderful addition to the set.
The costumes, from head to toe, are sensational and match the caliber to those of community theatres. The colors, styles and fabrics perfectly accentuate the era of the show while producing spectacular visuals.
The orchestra, consisting of community musicians and students and lead by Barr, is one of the best in the surrounding counties in Southern Pennsylvania. Having professional musicians participating with students in a collaborative musical theatre production is something that is irreplaceable and necessary to deliver the caliber of show found in this production of ANYTHING GOES!
The commitment, time and energy that an entire community devoted to this wonderful production, is proof that The Arts are valued, necessary and most of all, enjoyed by many.
ANYTHING GOES! - Kennard-Dale's Spring Musical 2017, was performed March 2-5th Photo credit: Kennard-Dale High School