This weekend, Somers High School presents Cole Porter’s loopy shipboard musical, “Anything Goes.”
The show — about Reno Sweeney and her friend Billy Croker — has a hard-working ensemble of passengers and more than its share of unforgettable characters.
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It is a showcase for Cole Porter’s standards: “You’re the Top,” “I Get a Kick Out of You,” “Blow, Gabriel, Blow” and the tap-happy title song, with its memorable line.
“In olden days a glimpse of stocking
Was looked on as something shocking,
But now, God knows,
A few members of the Somers cast gathered one day during the winter break to talk about the characters they’ll play when the curtain rises tomorrow night.
They gave a glimpse of what it’s like, in 2010, to be in a show that was written in 1934.
(“Anything Goes” is a popular choice this year in high schools across the Lower Hudson Valley: This weekend, there are four productions of the show, from North Rockland to Clarkstown North to Bronxville and Somers.)
Jessica Bruno plays Reno Sweeney, a role created by Ethel Merman and recaptured by Patti LuPone, two larger-than-life talents.
“She’s like half-preacher, half nightclub singer,” Bruno said. “She gets around.”
Bruno said she likes the song “I Get a Kick Out of You,” which she sings to her love interest, Sir Evelyn Oakleigh.
“I like the words and it has cool meaning,” she said.
Lucas Kane plays Moonface Martin, Public Enemy No. 13, who has a singing voice that would make Simon Cowell cringe. (Moonface, not Kane.)
In “Bluebird,” one of the strangest pep talks you’ll ever hear, Kane said “you have to hit the back wall and it has to be off-key and bad.”
Jen Milde plays Bonnie, Moonface’s girlfriend. In some versions of the musical (there are at least two), her character’s name is Erma.
In this version of the story, Milde sings “Heaven Hop” and “Let’s Step Out.”
“Through the entire show I have to sing and talk in this high, squeaky voice, which is a fun challenge. I’ve also got some funny lines, so hopefully I’ll get a lot of laughs from the audience.”
If the lines don’t do it, her walk just might. Milde demonstrated her pigeon-toed, tiny-step walking style that also revealed character.
Simon O’Keefe explained how his character, Billy Crocker, “fell in love with Hope Harcourt after they went on a 12-hour excursion in a taxi one time.”
After all, this is a 1930s musical.
When Hope sails off to marry Sir Evelyn, a stuffy Brit, Billy stows away.
“He mainly pursues Hope all the time and he gets Reno and Moonface to help him,” O’Keefe said.
Caroline Horizny plays Hope Harcourt.
“She does like Billy but doesn’t want to admit it at first,” Horizny said.
In the end, this being a 1930s musical, everything is tied up in a big beautiful bow, and at least two knots.
Even Hope’s high-society mother, Mrs. Harcourt, played by Emma Schunk, has the promise of romance.
“I’m with Billy’s boss at the end, but only after I hear that he has a lot of money,” Schunk said with a laugh. “I follow his money.”
What: “Anything Goes”
Where: Somers High School, 120 Primrose St., Lincolndale
When: 8 p.m. March 12, 13; 2 p.m. March 14
Tickets: $15; $9 students
With: Jessica Bruno, Simon O’Keefe, Caroline Horizny, Emma Schunk, Thomas Oliverio, Lucas Kane, Jennifer Milde, Joe Coppola, Rachel Glum, April Woltersdorf, Brenda Schoenfeld, Emma Klipstien, Nash Weiner, Juan Cabrera, Alex Friedman, Brandon DiTieri, Philip Eskridge, Adam Giuliano, Victoria Mattos, Jackie Boyd, Katie Walsh, Nicole Follini, Paula Chang, Kelly Oliverio, Dana Kaplowitz, Tori Stanziani, Harrison Sheehan, Peter Keegan, Cameron Sheehan, Mike Klimentov, David Sparks, Catherine Saraceno, Amanda Pisano, Allie Hanlon, Quinn Cartelli, Samantha Trabucco, Sydney Weisler, Summer Blair, Wendy French, Samantha Scoca, Emma Sweeny, Melissa Cannon, Simone Kurtz, Alexandra Melito, Brianna Zappi, Nicole Meeker, Maria Kolaj, Jessica Kimpel, Denise Persampieri, Erika Thomas, Breanna Adleman, Sami Prisco, Stephanie Ishoo, Amy Pietrangolare, Lauren Purcell, Elise Melito, Gabby Fuchs, Kellie Kilcup, Matt Fable, Briana Adams, Jackie Shaw, Tim Neggie, Dee Belmont, Erika Panzarino, Jadene Vermeersch, Rachel Lerner, Cassandra Zawadzki