WAHS musical ‘Anything Goes’ set for 2-day show

Just as it was recently revived on Broadway, so it will be revived – in some sense – on the Williamsport Area High School stage for a two-night performance later this month.

“Anything Goes,” an age-old tale of boy-meets-girl and the complications that ensue, will be performed by the WAHS music department beginning at 7 p.m. March 15 and 16 at the high school auditorium.

The musical stars Veronica Balestino as Hope Harcourt, Caleb Kiess as Elisha Whitney, Olivia Kuzio as Reno Sweeney, Joshua Thomas as Lord Evelyn Oakleigh, Olivia Carinigi as Mrs. Evangeline Harcourt, Dante Miele-Elion as the Captain, Collin Lakatos as the Rev. Henry Hopkins, Ausitin Eisner as Moonface Martin, Julia Bresticker as Irma and Zane Wagner as Billy Crocker.

Set in the 1930s, the musical tells the light-hearted tale of the antics involved on an ocean liner bound from New York to London, with the aforementioned characters caught up in the angst and complications of love.

Last performed at the high school in 1993, WAHS music teacher Kent Weaver said he wanted to bring the play back to life at the school, as it is his “most favorite show.” Given its recent 2010 Tony award-winning Broadway revival, now seemed like the right time to bring it back, he said.

“I love the music,” Weaver added. “It just carries so much of American culture in it.”

Originally produced by Lincoln Center Theatre in New York City, the music and lyrics were written by Cole Porter.

WAHS has garnered a stellar reputation for previous performances with musicals, such as “Grease,” “West Side Story” and “Les Miserable.”

Last year’s performance of “Sweeney Todd” raised the bar for students in the cast, as the music relied heavily on its range of operatic music to push the story forward.

This year, Weaver promises the music to be much easier as it’s more melodic. Describing it as “timeless,” Weaver said the students are memorizing the music much more easily because of it having been deeply engrained into American musical theatre.

“They’ve all memorized the style of music by now,” he added. “The words and the pitches – they’ve latched on to this.”

Audiences can expect to see an enjoyable show that is good for the family, Weaver said, and will run about two hours with intermission.