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All Aboard! STAGES St. Louis' ANYTHING GOES Sets Sail Today

STAGES St. Louis continues the voyage through its 29th season with the tap-happy Broadway classic, Anything Goes. The de-lovely Cole Porter musical comedy from Broadway's Golden Age kicks off performances today, July 17th, where it will run through August 16th at the Robert G. Reim Theatre in Kirkwood.

Set sail on the S. S. American with a zany group of travelers, bound from New York to merry old England, where gangsters, socialites, and arrow-collar lads collide in a true tap-sensation from a by-gone era when travel was still fun and as unpredictable as the weather. There'll be laughs a-plenty set to a raucous and romantic Cole Porter score. Enjoy meltingly romantic melodies as "I Get A Kick Out Of You," "It's De-Lovely," "Easy To Love," "You're The Top," and "Anything Goes," that will inspire an uproarious and tune-filled trip across the Atlantic where ANYTHING GOES!

Anything Goes debuted on November 21, 1934 at the Alvin Theatre (present day Neil Simon Theatre) where it ran for a total of 420 performances and starred Ethel Merman (Reno Sweeney), William Gaxton (Billy Crocker), and Victor Moore (Moonface Martin). In style and content, Anything Goes romanticizes the fanciful, carefree lifestyle of high society that provided 1930s theatregoers a much -needed escapism during the bleak midst of the Great Depression. Although conceived as a comedy, the original book by P.G. Wodehouse and Guy Bolton involved a shipwreck. During initial rehearsals, however, the ocean liner S.S. Morro Castle tragically caught fire and sank with more than a hundred lives lost. Last minute rewrites by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse resulted in one of Cole Porter's greatest hits and a timeless Broadway treasure. The show since has enjoyed numerous revivals and reinventions, each with slightly varying adaptations to book and musical content, including two separate film versions, at least three London productions, as well as one Off-Broadway and two subsequent Broadway revivals.

American songwriter and lyricist Cole Porter (1891-1964) was unique among many of his contemporary composers of American Popular music who themselves were self-taught products of New York City, in that he was born to wealth and classically trained, which took place not in the commercial music-publishing arena of Tin Pan Alley, but rather in sophisticated schools of Europe. With memorable melodies, complex harmonies, and witty writings full of up-to-date references and clever rhyme schemes, both Porter's music and lyrics epitomized the chic, polished urbanity defining 1930s song style. He created dozens of Broadway musicals and films as well as penned more than three hundred timeless songs including "Begin the Beguine," "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye," "You're the Top," and "I Get a Kick Out of You." In 1970, Porter was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame for his considerable contributions to American Popular music.

Los Angeles Actress Julie Cardia stars as Reno Sweeney. Cardia previously appeared in STAGES' 2011 production of The Secret Garden and the 2009 production of Guys and Dolls. Her recent tour credits include The Music Man: In Concert led by the iconic Shirley Jones and the Broadway National Tour Annie alongside Kathy Lee Gifford. Other credits include the National Tour of The Wizard of Oz and regional productions of Anything Goes and No No Nanette.

New York Actor Brent Michael Diroma stars as Billy Crocker. Diroma most recently was seen as Michael in STAGES' 2015 production of Smokey Joe's Café. Diroma has performed as Huey in Memphis, Hank Majewski/Bob Gaudio in Jersey Boys, Tony in West Side Story, and Princeton/Rod in Avenue Q.

Broadway Actor Bob Amaral makes his STAGES debut as Moonface Martin. Amaral has performed on Broadway in Guys and Dolls, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, and The Lion King as well as appeared in National Tours of The Producers and The Wizard of Oz. Television guest appearances include "N.Y.P.D. Blue," "Son of the Beach," and "Any Day Now."

Also starring is Broadway Actress Heidi Giberson as Hope Harcourt. Giberson has performed on Broadway in Cinderella and Les Miserables as well as in the Off-Broadway production of The Fantasticks. Giberson also recently has been seen as Liesl in STAGES' 2012 production of The Sound of Music.

New York Actor Dan Fenaughty makes his STAGES debut as Sir Evelyn Oakleigh. Regional credits include Murder Among Friends, Camelot, The 39 Steps, and A Murder Is Announced. Fenaughty also has voiced characters in short films and audio books.

Rounding out the cast in alphabetical order are Craig Blake (Photographer/Sailor Quartet), Brennan Caldwell (Purser), Jon Cooper (Fred/Sailor), Kari Ely (Mrs. Evangeline Harcourt), Lois Enders (Chastity), Morgan Amiel Faulkner (Passenger), John Flack (Captain), Gaby Gamache (Charity), Patrick Graver (FBI Agent/Sailor), Austin Hohnke (Henry T. Dobson/Sailor/Passenger), Drew Humphrey (Reporter/Sailor Quartet), Ellen Isom (Old Lady in a Wheelchair/Passenger), Erik Keiser (Luke/Sailor Quartet), Chris Kotera (FBI Agent/Sailor Quartet/Passenger), Jonathan Kwock (John/Sailor), Claire Logan (Purity), Whit Reichert (Elisha Whitney), Bronwyn Tarboton (Virtue), and Laura E. Taylor (Erma).

The creative team for the production includes: Michael Hamilton (Direction), Stephen Bourneuf (Choreography), Lisa Campbell Albert (Musical Direction), James Wolk (Scenic Design), Brad Musgrove (Costume Design), Sean Savoie (Lighting Design), Stuart M. Elmore (Orchestral Design). New York Casting is done by Scott Wojcik and Gayle Seay of Wojcik/Seay Casting.

Single tickets are on sale now and prices range from $20 - $57. STAGES performs in the intimate, 377-seat Robert G. Reim Theatre at the Kirkwood Civic Center, 111 South Geyer Road in St. Louis, MO. For more information or to purchase tickets call 314-821-2407 or visit StagesStLouis.org.

STAGES St. Louis is the region's foremost not-for-profit company committed to preserving and advancing the art form of Musical Theatre through excellence in performance and education. In 2015, STAGES celebrates its 29th year of producing Broadway-quality theatre, presenting 144 performances from May through October to nearly 50,000 patrons, during its mainstage season.



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