‘Anything Goes’ At Northampton Area High School

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Since it debuted on Broadway in 1934, the Tony Award-winning musical Anything Goes has become a fast favorite of theatergoers around the world. Broadway stars like Patti LuPone, Sutton Foster, and Joel Grey have all starred in the stage production, while Bing Crosby played the leading man in two different film adaptions of the musical. Now, students at Northampton High School have brought the entertaining production and its Cole Porter score to life in their spring musical, a 2017 Freddy Award contender.

In the musical, Wall Street worker Billy Crocker, in love with debutante Hope Harcourt, stows away on an ocean liner in order to stop the impending wedding between Harcourt and wealthy Englishman Lord Evelyn Oakley. He recruits best friend, nightclub singer Reno Sweeney, and runaway gangster Moonface Martin to help. What results is a madcap comedy and sweet love story, complete with memorable music, big laughs, dramatic love triangles, sparkling costumes, and spirited tap routines.

Northampton’s production was directed by Gianna Beleno. It starred senior Maya Costanzo as Sweeney, sophomore Austin Fleury as Crocker, senior Hannah Card as Harcourt, junior Lane Markulics as Oakley, sophomore Brandon Costanzo as Martin, and senior Francesca Boschi as Martin’s sidekick Erma.

All of the students brought the outrageously fun group of characters to life on stage and each shined in their performances. Maya Costanzo opened the show with the Porter standard “I Get a Kick Out of You,” while her duet of “You’re the Top” with Fluery made the audience smile and cheer. Fluery and Card also shared the stage for several sweet duets, including performances of the classics “It’s De-Lovely” and “All Through the Night.”

In addition to the love ballads, fun numbers brought plenty of laughs to the audience. Markulics seemed to be having great fun (As did the crowd!) when he tangoed across the stage during “The Gypsy in Me,” while Boschi warned a quartet of sailors to stay away in “Buddy Beware.” Brandon Costanzo’s “Be Like the Bluebird” made the audience laugh (even if it did not seem to cheer up Crocker, imprisoned in the brig towards the end of the second act). Brandon Costanzo also shared the stage with his sister, Maya, for an enthusiastic performance of “Friendship.”

The rest of the ensemble also did a stellar job, especially during the group numbers of “Bon Voyage,” “Blow, Gabriel, Blow,” and the show-stopping “Anything Goes,” which featured a long tap routine by the students. In her director’s note, Beleno shared that tap dancing was something very new to the students. However, it was clear to audience members that cast’s practice and rehearsals really paid off. As one Northampton resident remarked during the show’s intermission following the big number: “The dance routine was really great!”

The entire cast was all smiles, clearly enjoying the chance to showcase their talents and perform in such a popular and fun show. Their hard work was evident and made a lasting impression on members of the audience.

“I think they did great, [especially] the way they took on the characters,” said another Northampton resident whose children, now graduated, were in the school’s drama club. As a result, she says she can appreciate the dedication these students have, working nearly every day throughout a majority of the school year to perform several shows for only one weekend.

Northampton students in the audience were also there to cheer on their classmates. One, a sophomore at the high school, remarked on how “proud” she was to see her friends in the cast, orchestra, and crew put on such a great show.

When people go to the theater for the evening, they are looking for an escape. The cast, crew, and orchestra, composed entirely of students, as well as the team of directors, parents, and other community members alongside them, helped audience members do just that.

The Freddy Awards will be broadcast on Thursday, May 25 at 7 p.m. on WFMZ.

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