The 2012 Summer High School Workshop Production of “Anything Goes” opened to a big crowd Friday night at The Henegar Center in downtown Melbourne. With a great orchestra and full lighting, this happy-go-lucky show features well-loved songs like “You’re The Top” and “I Get A Kick Out of You.”
Written by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse with music and lyrics by Cole Porter, this 1934 musical is set aboard a luxury cruise liner on a voyage from New York to London. Those setting sail include a stowaway, an heiress, a gangster and more. Weaving throughout is the love affair between Billy Crocker, played by handsome senior Austin Nolder, and the rich heiress, Hope Harcourt, portrayed in a quite dignified manner by Kristina Manning (a rising West Shore junior). The two deliver some powerhouse singing.
When you see the exciting choreography in this show, keep in mind it was created by a couple of very talented high school students: Adam Davidson and Ariana Dresner. And the luxury ship set was built and painted by cast members and other high school students.
Erika Caliairi, a high school senior, mesmerizes as Reno Sweeney, the nightclub bombshell who commands the stage in costume designer Shannon Reppert’s fabulous gowns. Erika will study nursing at FSU in the fall but hopefully she’ll continue to showcase her talent there in musicals.
Felicia Hunt (entering Flagler College to study theater) plays Hope’s mother in an appropriately haughty manner. Felicia Hunt She carries the cutest, fluffiest (and well-behaved!) white dog.
The character who gets the most laughs is Moonface Martin, the easy-going con-man hilariously portrayed by Justin Mehlich (West Shore senior seen in many of his school’s productions). His funny side-kick, Bonnie, played by Kirstin Williams, has perfected a Betty Boop accent from that era.
It’s fun to watch Casey Castell who is delightful in his portrayal of the awkward British gentleman, Sir Evelyn Oakleigh. Casey gets tons of laughs with his great physical comedy.
Other standouts include Mitchell Burns as The Purser.’ He plays the uptight ship’s officer trying to keep everyone in line.
Can you imagine the iPhone generation tap-dancing through a Cole Porter musical? Anything goes with these talented teens — From dancing, singing, acting, designing, directing and playing instruments. This is great show put on by local high school talent. Don’t miss this one, it’s loads of fun.
QUICK HIT INFO: The musical “Anything Goes” runs through July 8 at the Henegar Center for the arts. Tickets are . Call 321-723-8698 or visit www.henegar.org.