Battle Mountain High School in Edwards presents classic musical ‘Anything Goes’
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What: “Anything Goes,” Battle Mountain High School’s spring musical.
Where: Battle Mountain High School auditorium, Edwards.
When: 7 p.m., Thursday through Saturday.
Cost: $13 adults, $9 students
More information: Tickets are available at the door.
Billy Crocker - Jasper Stone
Reno Sweeney - Rachel Ledon
Elisha Whitney - Jack Wickum
Erma - Rachel Weiss
Moonface Martin - Garvin VanDernoot
Hope Harcourt- Kara Greve
Lord Evelyn Oakleigh - Blake Petersen
Mrs. Harcourt - Lindsay Poff
EDWARDS — Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes” is a great choice for Battle Mountain High School’s spring musical, because almost anything does.
The play runs through Saturday in Battle Mountain’s auditorium. The students started rehearsals the second week in January.
Sheresa Wilbanks, the show’s musical director, picked the Cole Porter classic for her department’s spring production. The stars aligned and dancer and choreographer Meredith Steinke was home from college and available to help. The “why” of that is both tragic and triumphant.
Steinke has been a dancer since she was a tot and graduated Battle Mountain High School a year ago. She was studying dance at the Chicago College of Performing Arts, and two weeks into her first semester she blew her ACL during a dance rehearsal. School was over for her for the year, so she headed home to the valley to let the healing begin.
She spent absolutely no time in a dark room feeling sorry for herself or anyone else. She jumped into choreographing local productions, and while she’s a dancer to her very marrow, choreography could be her career path.
“That’s my career goal,” she said. “And this is a chance to give back to Battle Mountain, which gave me so much.”
Wilbanks and Steinke worked out the music and blocking — figuring out where and how actors move. Then they added singing and dancing. They started dress rehearsals this week.
Steinke was a Battle Mountain senior when she choreographed “Footloose,” and she did it brilliantly, we might add.
Cole Porter and the other writers composed four-part harmonies, but anything worth doing is worth doing in a big way, so Wilbanks and Steinke worked out six- and eight-part harmonies.
It’s complicated and time consuming, but worth it.
“Most things in life are like that,” Steinke said.
And Steinke taught the cast to dance.
“We started with some tap lessons and in a couple weeks, everyone was dancing. I’m so proud of them,” she said.
Jasper Stone plays the lead character and hits Billy Crocker out of the park.
Stone started down this road as a sophomore, singing in the choir and performing in the theater department’s productions. He played the drunk choir director in “Our Town” and was the lead in “Every 17 Minutes the Crowd Goes Wild.”
Now he’s the lead in this spring musical.
“It has been a lot of work, but everyone is focused. We’ll be ready for opening night,” Stone said.
ABOUT ‘ANYTHING GOES’
“Anything Goes” is one of Porter’s seminal works. It’s a 1930 musical and it’s hilarious.
“This performance is an excellent example of classic musical theater, complete with amazing tap numbers, entertaining comedy and a brilliant score by Cole Porter,” Steinke said.
Stone plays Bill Crocker, a classically clueless American guy, hopelessly in love with Hope Harcourt (Kara Greve).
Crocker/Stone says amusing clueless guy stuff like, “I’m in love with a girl. She’s so fantastic she won’t even talk to me.”
His friend and cohort, nightclub singer Reno Sweeney (Rachel Ledon) observes, “Why are the cute ones always so dumb?”
The story follows the madcap antics aboard an ocean liner bound from New York to London. Crocker blows off his job as a stockbroker on Wall Street to stow away so he can pursue Harcourt, who is engaged to Lord Evelyn Oakleigh (Blake Petersen). Sweeney and Public Enemy No. 13, Moonface Martin (Garvin VanDernoot), aid Crocker in his quest to win the girl.
The musical introduced songs such as “Anything Goes,” “You’re the Top,” and “I Get a Kick Out of You.” Wilbanks and her orchestra play them brilliantly.
The set is a spectacular two-story ocean liner, built under the loving and watchful eye of technical director Kaylee Brennand.
The original play was a collaborative effort by Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse, heavily revised by the team of Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse.
Since its 1934 debut at the Alvin Theatre (now known as the Neil Simon Theatre) on Broadway, the musical has been revived several times in the United States and Britain and has been filmed twice. The musical has long been a popular choice for community and high school productions.
Like Battle Mountain’s, which you’ll see for yourself when you see it.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
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