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Guilford High School Theater Art cast members rehearse for their upcoming production of Anything Goes. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier Find more dress rehearsal photos at Zip06.com. | Buy This Photo)
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All aboard the SS American. This spring the cast and crew of Guilford High School Theater Arts (GHSTA) is setting sail with their spring musical, Anything Goes. The run of the show begins on Thursday, March 22 and the last performance is Saturday, March 30.
The show follows a cast of characters as they make their way across the Atlantic on an ocean liner. The production first premiered in 1934 and has seen numerous revivals both in New York and London over the years.
“This is the 1987 version,” said Director Cara Mulqueen-Teasdale. “The play is really interesting because on the surface it looks easy, but in fact it’s pretty satirical. It was biting satire when it was first done and it has had all of these different amalgamations because as times have changed this has changed.”
The original music and lyrics for the show are by Cole Porter. Mulqueen–Teasdale said this production is a bit of a history lesson for students, too.
“The fun of it is we see all of these juke box musicals like Momma Mia! and stuff and this is actually the first juke box musical, you could argue,” she said. “Cole Porter would take songs out and put songs in based on whatever suited on the hit parade at the moment.”
For the GHSTA production, 38 students are in the cast, more than 100 in the crew, and more than 50 in the live pit orchestra. Once again, students have taken charge or everything from stage management to set construction to lighting.
“The pace of the show is challenging because everything is fast and the comedy is fast, the entrances, the exits, the stage just has to be prepared constantly,” Mulqueen–Teasdale said, explaining why the production has such a large crew. “The music is jazzier in this version, so it is a harder book for the musicians to play.”
Mulqueen-Teasdale said the students have risen to the challenges of the production, including some fairly complex dance numbers.
“This is a big rebuilding year for us,” she said. “We lost a lot of seniors and there are a lot of new kids in the cast, a lot of kids who have never done theater before in this cast, so we thought this would be something good…I am also loving that we have new kids taking leadership roles.”
Despite the rebuilding year, Mulqueen-Teasdale said the number of new students who auditioned for the show says a lot about the program.
“I think it says a lot about the community too,” she said. “They support the arts and the kids. I always say this but it is true: It is a viable alternative of an activity to do in winter so many of these kids will tell you directly that they have no interest in doing this for college, but it is such a nice community, they are learning something new, and they are working collaboratively.”
The GHSTA has done some heavier musicals in past years, but Mulqueen-Teasdale it’s good to have productions like this as well.
“It’s light and fun and that is important,” she said.
On opening night, Friday, March 22, at 6:30 p.m. there will be an unveiling of a new recognition showcase next to the box office in the commons of the high school. Over the years, GHSTA has won numerous awards and a group of parents and students have worked to build the showcase, giving theater students the same recognition on campus as athletics or other endeavors.
Anything Goes is on at the Guilford High School Performing Arts Center on Friday March 22, Saturday, March 23, Thursday, March 28, Friday, March 29, and Saturday, March 30 at 7 p.m. and on Sunday, March 24 at 2 p.m. Tickets ($18 for adults, $15 for students, and $15 for seniors) can be purchased online at ghsta.weebly.com.
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