Love and laughter will sail the seas

Characters dealing with love and laughter will sail the high seas when students at Fort Dodge Senior High present the musical “Anything Goes” Wednesday through Saturday at the Fort Dodge Middle School Auditorium.

Performances are at 7 p.m. each night with tickets $10 for adults and $5 for students. Tickets can be purchased at Fort Dodge Senior High, 819 N. 25th St., Choice Printing, 1012 First Ave. N., or at the door.

“‘Anything Goes’ is just really funny,” said director Matt Drees, “a big time comedy. Also, it provides for some really good full-company music and dance numbers. I really like that we are getting everybody involved.”

With music and lyrics by Cole Porter, “Anything Goes” is a musical detailing the antics that take place between passengers aboard an ocean liner bound from New York to London. The story centers around Billy Crocker, a young banker who spies a beautiful woman boarding the ship and decides to chase after her. As it turns out, the lady is heiress Hope Harcourt who is sailing with her fiancee, Lord Evelyn Oakleigh.

Crocker stows away and attempts to steal a few moments with Harcourt to press his suit. Helping him in his endeavor are Reno Sweeney, a nightclub singer and former evangelist, and a second-rate gangster, Moonface Martin.

Misidentification and unrequited feelings then fuel the laughter and campy jokes as plans unfold to bring together Crocker and Harcourt.

Among the musical selections included in the program are popular songs such as “Anything Goes,” “You’re the Top,” and “I Get a Kick Out of You.” Also in the score are songs such as “Public Enemy Number One” and “(There’s No Cure Like Travel)/Bon Voyage.”

Since its 1934 debut on Broadway, the musical has been revived several times in the United States and Britain and has twice been made into a film.

Bringing the production to the local stage in Fort Dodge has been a lesson in dedication for the students involved, Drees said. With its dance and cast-involving numbers, the show has a large amount of choreography and blocking that requires time and repetition to learn. Students started rehearsing in early March, spending three nights a week after class dancing, singing and running lines.

Additionally, Saturdays were sacrificed to work on blocking and large group scenes.

As the show dates grow closer, the young performers will really kick it into high gear and double the amount of rehearsal time.

“I think the audiences will be able to see that the students have worked extremely hard to produce a quality event,” Drees said. “I also want to give credit to the parents and volunteers who have worked on costumes and sets and generally provided all the support it takes to bring a musical to the stage.”