Anything can (and will) happen in ‘Anything Goes’

WHERE ANYTHING GOES — Mrs. Harcourt (Helen Regula, 16), Elijah Whitney (Braiden Wells, 16), Hope Harcourt (Clara Regula, 18), Sir Evelyn Oakley (Andrew Wilson, 15), Moonface Martin (Stefan Sorgea, 17), and Bonnie (Krista Mackin, 18) have an adventure aboard the S.S. American. Village Life photo by Shelly Thorene

If El Dorado Musical Theatre’s upcoming production doesn’t get your toes tapping … well, that’s just not possible.

Who can resist the music of Cole Porter? And who can resist the comedy and romance of “Anything Goes”?

“I want the audience to hum as they exit,” said EDMT founder and director Debbie Wilson. “It really should be just a fun, uplifting time.”

“Anything Goes” tells the stories of several passengers aboard the S.S. American — Moonface Martin, an outlaw disguised as a minister; Reno Sweeney, a jazzy nightclub singer and evangelist with her Angels (back-up dancers); Evangeline and Hope Harcourt, a wealthy mother and daughter; and Billy Crocker, a New York businessman who brought along a stowaway. Hope, engaged to Lord Evelyn Oakleigh, is Billy’s long-lost love and Reno has an eye for Lord Evelyn.

Without giving too much away, let’s just say what happens on the S.S. American doesn’t stay on the S.S. American as many cast members tap and sing their way to new and better lives during their ride across the Atlantic.

Reno, played by 20-year-old Katherine Sorgea, is one such character. Rehearsing the number “Anything Goes” Sorgea certainly knows how to convey Reno’s attitude, though the actress confessed, it’s a bit of a stretch. “Reno’s more social, jazzy and sexy and that’s just not me,” she confessed.

Clara Regula, who plays Hope, said she also had to adapt on stage. Not only because Hope’s so “sugary sweet,” but also because the 18-year-old actress’ sister, Helen Regula, plays Hope’s mother, Evangeline. In the end Hope “follows her heart,” Clara said. “She’s kind of like my idol for that.”

Wilson said she selected “Anything Goes” for its “razzle dazzle.” This is the second time EDMT has performed the show, which has 65 cast members.

“The music, the numbers … it’s just a fun, silly romp,” said Wilson, who also choreographed this production. She first took on the “Anything Goes” choreographer role in 1977 and a few years later played an Angel along side Chita Rivera as Reno Sweeney. In this production Wilson’s daughter Anjie Rose Wilson plays the Angel Charity.

This is the first EDMT production at Three Stages at Folsom Lake College. The crew built a massive two-story set and, Wilson said, rehearsals at the new theater are “a mad dash” from start to end. There’s a balcony at Three Stages, she noted, so no one one can hide on stage.

“Anything Goes” runs April 15 through May 1. The production is sponsored in part by Parker Development Co., Gift of Kids Daycare and Preschool, and Pete’s Restaurant & Brewhouse. Tickets are $14.50 to $29 and can be purchased online at threestages.net or by calling (916) 608-6888. For more information visit edmt.info or call (916) 941-SING.

Reno Sweeney (Katherine Sorgea); Billy Crocker (Chris Meissner); Moonface Martin (Stefan Sorgea); Hope Harcourt (Clara Regula); Evelyn Oakleigh (Andrew Wilson); Bonnie (Krista Mackin); Mrs. Harcourt (Helen Regula); Elisha J. Whitney (Braiden Wells); Purser (Terry Hicks); Captain (Alex Levy); Bishop (Jonny Cranmer); Steward (David Bryant) ;Ching (Quintin Casl); Ling (CJ Knoble); Reporter (Patrick Freeman); and Cameraman (Zennin Casl). The Angels are: Virtue (Kaileen Teter); Charity (Anjie Rose Wilson); Chastity (Julia Adams); Purity (Jillian Curry); Clarity (Megan Martorana); Joy (Allie Frew); Faith (Isabella Fay); and Felicity (Michaela Sorgea).

Anything Goes is directed by Debbie Wilson with Jennifer Martin as vocal director and Christine Martorana as the costumer.

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