July 18--CHIPPEWA FALLS -- Mix in moonlight glimmering over saltwater waves, confessions of forbidden love and a bit of gangster activity -- all on a luxury 1930s cruise liner crossing the Atlantic -- and zaniness can be guaranteed.
"Anything Goes," a musical that combines those elements, will hit the stage Friday night at the Heyde Center for the Arts.
With romance, humor and potential for a wedding, director Nancy Scobie said, the audience should find the Chippewa Valley Cultural Association show hilariously far-fetched and full of great tunes that will make them want to dance.
Amanda Tanzer -- playing Reno Sweeney, one of the leading women and an evangelist turned nightclub singer -- said "Anything Goes" is a very unexpected show.
"It was very on the edge for its time, and it's still on the edge," Tanzer said. "It has some really fun ways at poking fun at stereotypes."
Scobie, who is staging the 1962 revival, said she picked the show because of the music -- including the hits "Anything Goes," "You're the Top" and "I Get a Kick Out of You" -- by American composer Cole Porter,
"This is Cole Porter music at its best," Scobie said.
Dan Lea, who plays Sir Evelyn Oakleigh, one of the male leads, said the entire show is built around Porter's music.
"It's a classic show," said Lea, who has been acting for nearly 30 years. "You can't beat Cole Porter music."
Along with the timeless tunes, the dance numbers spice up the performance.
Pamelann Schulte, who plays the angel Chastity, said the tap dancing has been lots of fun. She joked that she is crossing her fingers that she learns all the dance numbers by opening night.
Scobie said the wild music and dancing are why the show is such a blast to watch.
"None of us live our lives like 'Anything Goes,' " Scobie said. "If we did, we would have lost our moral compass."
Tanzer said it has been really fun and crazy preparing for the role, and the audience is sure to get a kick out of it.
"We have a Methodist pastor playing a priest while a priest plays a drunk," Tanzer said. "It keeps life very interesting in the show."
Scobie, who has been directing for more than 50 years, first directed "Anything Goes" 26 years ago -- with the same sets. She said the audience will leave the show feeling happy with a break from "real" society.
"I prefer to work with happier musical comedies," Scobie said. "At the end of the show, there is a lightness in your step."
Landry can be reached at 715-833-9203 and 800-236-7707 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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