Sunday, May 27, 2018
Stage

Clearwater High presents 'Anything Goes' April 24-26

CLEARWATER

Board the SS American for a two-hour cruise back to 1934, where tap-dancing sailors hit the deck with steel-toed shoes, and white-gloved society gals dish out campy jokes.

Clearwater High School presents Anything Goes, a big, bubbly Broadway-style musical at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $15 each, $10 for students and seniors.

The show revolves around the romantic and dastardly plots of a cast of corny characters: evangelist-turned-nightclub singer Reno Sweeney (played by Jordan Sison); a lovesick stockbroker named Billy Crocker (Gunnar Wilson); Hope Harcourt (Quinn Dupre), a debutante who's the object of Billy's affection; and her fiance, the stuffy Lord Evelyn Oakleigh (Michael Ramnath).

Their madcap adventures serve to showcase Cole Porter's many memorable tunes like Blow, Gabriel, Blow; You're the Top; It's De-Lovely; and of course the title song, Anything Goes, all performed by a 14-piece orchestra.

Charlie Rowell, 17, provides a boatload of laughs through his character, Moonface Martin, a.k.a. Public Enemy No. 13. He likes his role, he said, because "it got me out of the tap-dancing."

Along the way, though, he fell in love with Porter's Jazz Age sounds, saying the experience has broadened his musical horizons.

"I love his music — the lyrics are so clever. I listen to a lot more jazz now," he said.

Though Charlie may not be a fan of tap dancing, most of the sailors said they enjoyed learning the classic dance steps.

"I've always worked on the technical side, I didn't even audition," said Dakota Davy, 16, "but they said they needed another sailor so I thought I'd try it and see what happens."

The tap dancers put in some overtime at Tampa Bay's Dance FX in Largo, a studio directed by show choreographer Anne Marie Gaige. Her son Bryce, 10, performs a cameo tap in the show. It's the fifth time the young dancer has been involved in a production at Clearwater High.

It's the first time Joy Roche, the school's drama teacher for the past 25 years, has endeavored to put on the high-energy musical, which won a 2011 Tony for Best Revival of a Musical.

"I chose it because it's uplifting and a great escape from the problems of the world," she said. "Actually, Disney musicals and the oldies but goodies are what's popular on Broadway now. I think people just want to relax and have fun."

Roche said the show's big cast (60 students onstage) gives those who want to participate in the theater experience a chance.

"Between the cast, the orchestra, the support and technical roles, we probably have about 100 students involved — that's almost 10 percent of our student population."

She said students have learned a lot about the 1930s, especially Depression-era high society, as they researched costumes and the societal norms of the times.

"It's been a great history lesson for them all," she said.

Terri Bryce Reeves can be reached at [email protected].

   
Comments
Ballet Nacional de Cuba stuns with a spectacular ‘Giselle’

Ballet Nacional de Cuba stuns with a spectacular ‘Giselle’

TAMPA — The Ballet Nacional de Cuba performed Giselle, its signature ballet, on Wednesday at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. Fifty-four dancers charmed a packed house, culminating in about two hours an effort that took more tha...
Published: 05/24/18
Well, it’s different: Porn stars are doing stand up comedy this weekend in St. Pete

Well, it’s different: Porn stars are doing stand up comedy this weekend in St. Pete

IF YOU SAY SO: PORN STARS ARE COMEDIANSWell, it’s different. Porn Stars Are Comedians extends the concept of the podcast Porn Stars Are People ("the only podcast with porn stars where we don’t discuss porn or the business of porn"), hosted by Dan Fri...
Published: 05/23/18
Waiting for ‘Godot’ to end: Half-okay performances mar an already irritating classic at Hat Trick

Waiting for ‘Godot’ to end: Half-okay performances mar an already irritating classic at Hat Trick

CLEARWATER — Hat Trick Theatre, the resident company of Ruth Eckerd Hall, closes out its season with Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. I must say it’s a stark choice, mainly because I can’t get two sentences into this without using the word "stark....
Published: 05/23/18
Despite hurdles, Ballet Nacional de Cuba returns to Tampa after 15 years

Despite hurdles, Ballet Nacional de Cuba returns to Tampa after 15 years

For decades, the reputation of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba has never dropped below excellent. In a country that prides itself on art, the company represents the best of the best, with a colorful style all its own, a blend of Russian precision and an ...
Published: 05/23/18

Local production of "Ain’t Retirement Grand!" promises lots of laughs

HUDSON — What to do in the golden years? Early bird specials, doctor’s appointments, figuring out who to leave what in your will? Or maybe just take some time out for a few laughs about the situation.A local production of Ain’t Retirement Grand! migh...
Published: 05/22/18
Florida Orchestra closes 50th masterworks season with Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony

Florida Orchestra closes 50th masterworks season with Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony

TAMPA — The Florida Orchestra wraps up its final masterworks concert of the season with a masterfully complex Johannes Brahms piano concerto and Ludwig van Beethoven’s warmly accessible Symphony No. 6, commonly known as the "Pastoral."Friday’s sold-o...
Published: 05/19/18
Florida Orchestra to offer violin lessons for at-risk Tampa youth

Florida Orchestra to offer violin lessons for at-risk Tampa youth

TAMPA — The Florida Orchestra will begin tutoring at-risk children free of charge, thanks to a Hillsborough County grant.The $80,000 grant to the University Area Community Development Corp. pays for six weeks of violin instruction at select recreatio...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/17/18
Orchestra performs last masterworks of the season, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6

Orchestra performs last masterworks of the season, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6

GRAND MASTERS: BEETHOVEN AND BRAHMSIt’s last call for the Florida Orchestra’s masterworks season. And why not close out the 50th season with two passionate cannon blasts, Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2 and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, better known as th...
Published: 05/16/18
Review: ‘Addams Family’ cast, choreography, costumes worth seeing at Richey Suncoast

Review: ‘Addams Family’ cast, choreography, costumes worth seeing at Richey Suncoast

NEW PORT RICHEY — DO. NOT. MISS. THIS. SHOW.I’m talking about The Addams Family, the musical comedy based on the Charles Addams’ New Yorker cartoons, several television series and two feature films, but with updated cultural references for current au...
Published: 05/14/18
Updated: 05/15/18

Review: ‘Calendar Girls’ stage show needs a touch-up

Oh, how I wish this could be a glowing review of the dramedy Calendar Girls, playing weekends through May 20 at Stage West Community Playhouse.The show about longtime friends semi-baring their bosoms to make a calendar to raise money to buy a sofa fo...
Published: 05/11/18
Updated: 05/14/18