Each summer the Interlochen area comes alive for a huge arts festival. The entertainment includes presentations from the Interlochen Arts Academy, the nationally celebrated boarding school for the arts that doesn’t quiet down when the school year lets out. It hosts an arts camp and produces the High School Musical Theatre Company’s summer production. For the summer of ’09, that meant students from sixteen different states plus one student from Canada coming together to put on this magnificent production of Anything Goes.

The dance-happy Cole Porter classic gets a vibrant and hilarious retelling by this national group of young theatre talents. John Scott takes on the role of Billy Crocker, a young bachelor hoping to end his bachelorhood with Hope Harcourt if he can only break up her impending marriage to Lord Evelyn Oakleigh from England. If Billy’s going to do it, he’s going to have to do it on the transatlantic cruise that he stowaways on. And he’s going to need some help from his worldly female friend who would kinda like to be more than friends, the saucy singer Reno Sweeney. And he might need some additional help from Public Enemy #13 – Moonface Martin.

John Scott of Hudson, Ohio gets more out of the role of Billy than usual with great confidence, personality, and style – not to mention great singing and dancing. Then you’ve got fellow Ohioan Mimi Klipstine-Dick from West Milton leading the way as Reno Sweeney. This triple threat sings fantastic period vocals, has a dead-on sense of humor, and dances up a storm. Margaret and Sean combine to get this show launched successfully when they team up to kick things off with You’re the Top. Margaret’s also at the center of things for so many of the show’s greatest scenes. The cleverly choreographed and performed Friendship between Margaret and her friend Moonface Martin, with Ann Arbor’s Robert Axelrod turning in an excellent comic performance as a cartoonish Moonface who can kick his leg straight up to his nose and unforgettably channels the dance of a bluebird. And then there’s Cooper Taggard from Novato, California as the eccentric Lord Evelyn Oakleigh who takes a break from his nerdy appetite for American slang to cut a rug with Reno as he hysterically finds The Gypsy in Me.

But for Billy Crocker, there’s only one girl – the sweet Hope Harcourt, with Sarah Talbot from Baton Rouge, Louisiana doing a beautiful job in the role, including a lovely Delovely duet. Not so sweet but very amusing is New Yorker Katherine Birenboim as Erma, Moonface’s sexy coworker, who works her wiles with charm, and no sailor is safe as she starts making every Buddy Beware. Of course, no sailor is running away, either.

Those sailors, along with Reno’s “Angels” and a remarkable ensemble of passengers, nail Director/Choreographer Greg Hellems’ creative, challenging, and dynamic dance numbers, always in step and with an infectious, joyous energy, from Blow, Gabriel Blow to the stellar title number, all done on Cory Johnson’s impressive set that makes you feel like you’re right there on the boat with them.

Performed July 30 - August 2, 2009

Roshelle Hall
National Youth Theatre

~ Cast ~

Elisha Whitney: Alex Hunnell
Fred: John Ludlam
Billy Crocker: John Scott
Lord Evelyn Oakleigh: Cooper Taggard
Moonface Martin: Robert Axelrod
Chinese Converts:
Rachel Eskenazi-Gold
Noah Rice
Rowen Kahn
Purser: Brandon Baer
Captain: Carter Bellaimey
Minister: Mark Kendrick
Sailor Quartet:
Joseph Rykert
Sean Seymour
Andrew Szczerba
Alex Johnson
Reno Sweeney: Mimi Klipstine-Dick
Hope Harcourt: Sarah Talbot
Mrs. Harcourt: Kelsey Peterjohn
Erma: Katherine Birenboim
Stephanie Cain
Kaitlyn Sage
Emily Applebaum
Emma Sohlberg
Reporters: Lindsey Wells and Christine Jones
FBI Agents: Andrew Buckshaw and Jacob Brinskele
Old Lady in Wheelchair: Stefanie Goldberg
Photographer: Adam Faruqi
Sailors: Eli Raskin and Justin Talkington
Ashten Banister
Madeline Bowdon
Andrew Buckshaw
Jacob Brinskele
Siera Bruggerman
Adam Faruqi
Madison Dix
Stefanie Goldberg
Christine Jones
Mark Kendrick
John Ludlam
Caitlin Jones
Jordan Puhala
Margaret Randolph
Eli Raskin
Lindsey Wells

Director and Choreographer: Greg Hellems
Music Director and Conductor: Rich Church
Assistant Director and Assistant Choreographer: Amber Preston
Costume Designer: Candace Hughes
Scenic Designer: Cory Johnson
Lighting Designer: Gina Patterson
Audio Designer: Rory Baker
Stage Manager: Karyn Labbe


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