Photo by Brenda McGuire.

From March 21 through March 24, the Catasauqua High School Drama Club brought the classic musical “Anything Goes” to life. The production is a 2019 Freddy Awards contender.

The 1962 musical tells the story of aristocratic love triangles, on-the-run gangsters, and a flamboyant night club owner on the high seas, all set to the classic tunes of Cole Porter. The show, filled with big tap dancing numbers and glittering costumes, is an old Broadway staple, something that director Brenda McGuire wanted to challenge students with following their Freddy-nominated production of “Singin’ in the Rain” in 2018.

“We knew we wanted to continue with the old Broadway feel and continue [the students’] love for tap dancing,” she said in her director’s notes.

Junior Noel Cruz played Reno Sweeney, a nightclub owner on her way to perform in London. Sweeney is a character made famous on the stage by Patti LuPone and Sutton Foster, and Cruz was able to capture the same confidence and charm those leading ladies brought to the role. Her performances of “Anything Goes” and “Blow, Gabriel, Blow,” accompanied by the ensemble cast, were standouts.

Junior Ben Langsorf and freshman Hannah Kurczeski played lovebirds Billy Crocker and Hope Harcourt. Billy follows Hope aboard the ship in an attempt to win her back before her marriage to Sir Evelyn Oakleigh, played by freshman Kaleb Croft. This love triangle results in plenty of laughs, with Langsorf donning several disguises to get past the ship’s crew. It also results in the performance of several of Porter’s most famous numbers: “It’s DeLovely” and “All Through the Night.”

Meanwhile, gangster Moonface Martin, played by Sophomore Will Elston, and sidekick Bonnie, played by Valerie Davidheiser, attempt to help Billy end up with Hope while remaining under the radar of the authorities.

All of the leading characters were complemented nicely by an ensemble cast that rarely left the stage. Anything Goes is a show that features several moments for the ensemble cast to shine, whether they’re dancing to jazz music, tapping across the stage in sailor costumes, or simply reacting to the antics of Reno, Billy, Moonface, and the rest of the gang.

“I really enjoy watching each of these students grow from year to year with their dedication and determination for the arts,” McGuire said. “I am truly astounded at the talent that is here in Catty.”

Nominations for the 2019 Freddy Awards will be announced in early May, with the awards ceremony broadcast live on May 23.

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