“Anything Goes” at Parkland is in ship-shape

Photo by Kelcey Williams | Dennis Sims and Tyle Cook, playing the captain of the S.S. American and one of the sailors respectively, stand together backstage.

Photo by Kelcey Williams | Dennis Sims and Tyler Cook, playing the captain of the S.S. American and one of the sailors respectively, stand together backstage.

Peter Floess

Staff Writer

For most of April, Parkland College’s theatre will be showing Cole Porter’s comedic musical “Anything Goes.”

Most of the musical is set on the S.S. American, and, according to at least one sailor, was a very fun show to work on.

Parkland student Tyler Cook, who plays a sailor, enjoys the dancing and comedy of “Anything Goes.” He believes that this show is “so exciting and high energy” due to “[the] talented people aboard this ship,” also saying it “is [a] fantastic show and a lot of fun to” be a part of.

In “Anything Goes,” this “high energy” means that very little is understated in terms of acting according to Ray Essick, who plays the main male character of the musical, Billy Crocker. In this musical, Essick says he tries to bring his acting of Crocker “to the edge.”

Dennis Sims, who plays the captain of the S.S. American, agrees with Cook’s sentiments.

“[It] has been a very fun show to work on,” says Sims. “There are a lot of funny lines, that if we deliver correctly the audience can understand. It is good to have reaction from the audience”

Sims also enjoys the tap dancing in the play, even though he is not a dancer himself.

The tap dancing of the cast was impressive. Some songs such as “Blow, Gabriel, Blow” and “Anything Goes” involved quite a bit of tap work by many of the actors and actresses. Most of the cast participated in these songs, either through dancing or singing.

In these scenes, the cast did a beautiful job being a single choreographed, chorus unit. However, Malia Andrus, who played the main female character Reno Sweeny, dominated the scene of “Blow, Gabriel, Blow,” in which her character is supposed to be the main focus.

In this musical, several actors and actress have tattoos that need to be covered up for their roles. Parkland student Grace Wilson-Danehower, who works on make-up, hair, and quick set changes between scenes, does this. There are also several characters that have moustaches that need to be “glued on.”

“Backstage is just [as] important as the actors and actresses,” says Wilson-Danehower.

The sound effects were another great addition to the play. When Moonface Martin, played by Jeff Dare Erma, is in disguise as a Christian minister, the sound effects added to the comedy of the scene. Erma played the bumbling gangster Moonface Martin well.

The production also did a good job reminding the audience the action took place on a cruise ship in the early 20th century. At one point, one of the pit orchestra members played an instrument that sounded like a “fog horn” when the ship left the port of New York City. Also in the beginning, the captain and another cast member make a few jokes about the RMS Titanic and other famous passenger ships of the early 20th century.

The entire cast, the pit orchestra, and crew of “Anything Goes” did a wonderful job making an “awesome” production, as Wilson-Danehower describes it.

The musical is playing on April 13–15 and 21–22 at 7:30 p.m. and on April 23 at 3 p.m. in the Harold and Jean Miner Theatre in the C-wing. Tickets cost $16 for adults, $14 for students and seniors, $10 for children, and $12 for groups of 15 or more.