REND LAKE COLLEGE THEATRE REVIVES "ANYTHING GOES" FOR AUDIENCES MARCH 8-11
ANYTHING GOES - Front row, from left; Cale Smith (Mt. Vernon), Jayne Ballantyne (Pinckneyville), Tyler Hood (Pinckneyville), Blythe Lee Brown (Mt. Vernon), Braden Downs (Carlinville), Emily Wells (Sesser), Troy Stickel (Benton), John Nalley (Benton) and Steven Crawford (Benton). Second row, from left; Madalyn Hintz (Ewing), Shannon Twitty (Wayne City), Colleen Ryterski (Pinckneyville), Angie Youroukos (Mt. Vernon), Lily Allen (Thompsonville), Laura Saxton (West Frankfort), Audrey Mayo (Mt. Vernon), Molly Wilson (Mt. Vernon), Janice Briley (Sesser) and Marissa Acie (Raleigh, North Carolina). Third row; from left; Maurice Sapp (Ft. Lauderdale, FL), Caleb Spann (Sesser), Ben Kenniker (Christopher), Aaron Dawson (Benton), Fred Roberts (Cleveland, OH), Lucas Wells (Mt. Vernon), Ian Dodd (Mt. Vernon) and Chuck Lawrence (Benton). Back row, from left; Mike Heathcoat (Benton) and Zach Summers (West Frankfort). Not pictured are; Jessa Poninski (Mt. Vernon) and Chris Eskew (Mt. Vernon). CLICK HEREfor a larger image.
ANYTHING GOES - From left; Tyler Hood (Pinckneyville) playing Moonface Martin, Troy Stickel (Benton) playing Sir Evelyn Oakleigh and Emily Wells (Sesser) playing Reno Sweeney. CLICK HERE for a larger image.
ANYTHING GOES - Emily Wells (Sesser) playing Reno Sweeney and Braden Downs (Carlinville) playing Billy Crocker. CLICK HERE for a larger image.
ANYTHING GOES - Billy Crocker, played by Braden Downs of Carlinville, hides from his boss Elisha Whitney (John Nalley of Benton) as Hope Harcourt (Blythe Lee Brown of Mt. Vernon) looks on. "Anything Goes" taps onto the Rend Lake College stage March 8. For tickets, call 618-437-5321, Ext. 1467. CLICK HERE for a larger image.
INA, Ill. – Cole Porter’s classic comedy “Anything Goes” will be revived at the Rend Lake College Theatre in less than two weeks. Theatre Director Tracey Webb has cast more than 30 actors for the large spring musical. Tickets, just $12 each, are available by calling the RLC Box Office at 618-437-5321, Ext. 1467.
The musical takes place aboard the “S.S. American” – a London-bound luxury liner that boards in New York. Among those on the passenger list are evangelist-turned-nightclub starlet Reno Sweeney, played by Emily Wells of Sesser; American heiress Hope Harcourt (Blythe Lee Brown of Mt. Vernon) and her mother, Evangeline Harcourt (Jessa Poninski of Mt. Vernon). Poninski, a graduate of RLC Theatre, returns to the Rend Lake stage as not only a cast member, but as the key choreographer for the big tap-dancing production.
“Jessa is such a great resource to have back with us,” said Webb. “I’ve never directed a big tap dance show like this. They’re not easy to do and I think audiences are going to love what she has done with the routines.”
Lord Evelyn Oakleigh (Troy Stickel of Benton) boards the “S.S. American” as Hope’s fiance – although he seems to fancy the older model Harcourt, despite being engaged to her daughter.
Pompous Walt Street broker Elisha “E.J.” Whitney (John Nalley of Benton) and his flunky, Billy Crocker (Braden Downs of Benton), are on board. Crocker – who becomes a stowaway after learning Hope is on the ship – spends most of his time on the voyage trying to break up the Oakleigh-Harcourt engagement. He even plots alongside wanted felon – albeit only Public Enemy No. 13 – Moonface Martin (Tyler Hood of Pinckneyville) who has taken on the disguise of a man of the cloth. Crocker himself winds up on the list of public enemies – at No. 1 – although it is merely by impersonating America’s most dangerous criminal, Snake Eyes Johnson.
Strip poker in the brig, a wedding on the deck and many more disguises emanate as the liner crosses the ocean toward England.
The music of “Anything Goes” will have audiences tapping their feet and singing along. From the large ensemble Bon Voyage and Reno and Billy’s melodious reunion in You’re the Top, to Hope and Billy’s It’s Delovely and the big dance number Anything Goes, the pace of this production will go, go, go and leave theatre-goers wanting more, more, more!
Reno’s angels Purity (Laura Saxton of West Frankfort), Chastity (Colleen Ryterski of Pinckneyville), Charity (Angie Youroukos of Mt. Vernon) and Virtue (Lily Allen of Thompsonville) will be on board, as will sailors Chris Eskew of Mt. Vernon, Aaron Dawson of Benton, Lucas Wells of Mt. Vernon and Mike Heathcoat of Benton.
The role of Erma is being played by Jayne Ballantyne of Pinckneyville. Luke will be played by Caleb Spann of Sesser and John is being played by Ben Kenniker of Christopher. Other roles include Ship’s Captain (Steven Crawford of Benton), Ship’s Purser (Cale Smith of Mt. Vernon), Fred – the Bartender (Fred Roberts of Cleveland), Henry T. Dobson (Chuck Lawrence of Benton), News Photographer (Molly Wilson of Mt. Vernon), reporters (Ian Dodd of Mt. Vernon and Marissa Acie of Raleigh, N.C.), F.B.I. Agents (Zach Summers of West Frankfort and Maurice Sapp of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), Old Lady in Wheelchair (Janice Briley of Sesser) and passenger ladies (Shannon Twitty of Wayne City, Audrey Mayo of Mt. Vernon and Madeline Hintz of Ewing).
“Anything Goes” at Rend Lake College. Show Times: 7 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, March 8-10; 2 p.m., Sunday, March 11. Director: Tracey Webb. Music Director: Sara Alstat. Accompanist: Caitlyn Luckett. Choreographers: Jessa Poninski and Tiffany Kessler. Costumer: Danielle Roberts. Production Assistant: Anthony Mitchell.