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General Brown Central staging “Anything Goes”

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DEXTER — For her first two years of producing musicals at General Brown Central School, Corinne F. Dartnell staged shows that she had no direct experience with. But this year, it’s “Anything Goes.”

“For me, the familiarity with the characters and the show was a big draw,” Miss Dartnell said. “I knew how fun it was and the music is very contagious. I wanted to share that with my students.”

The Cole Porter classic premiered on Broadway in 1934. It’s latest Broadway revival was in 2011-12. The show’s original book was by British humorist P.G. Wodehouse with Guy Bolton and Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. It was later revised by Timothy Crouse and John Weidman.

The General Brown Performing Arts Club will stage a dinner and show for senior citizens on Thursday and three shows open to the public on Friday and Saturday.

The musical is set on a cruise ship. It tells the story of playboy Billy Crocker, who has stowed away on the ship in order to woo his girlfriend away from a stuffy British suitor. Complicating the plot is a host of strange characters, including English noblemen, American gangsters, Chinese missionaries and a lady evangelist turned nightclub singer.

Songs include “I Get a Kick Out of You,” “You’re the Top,” “It’s DeLovely” and the title song.

“Audiences should expect a lot of laughs,” said senior Brandon J. Rexford. “It’s a fun show with lots of catchy music. It’s going to be a great time to come to the show this year.”

Mr. Rexford plays the wealthy Englishman Lord Evelyn Oakleigh.

“He’s kind of witty and ditzy at the same time,” he said.

Senior Nicholas J. Murtha said “Anything Goes” has a boatload of unusual characters, such as the one he plays, Moonface Martin.

“He’s a public criminal,” Mr. Murtha said. “All he wants in life is to be number one. He wants to be the baddest of the bad. But he’s not as bad as he thinks he is. Inside, he’s a softie.”

“The show has everything,” Mr. Murtha said. “There’s comedy, love, romance and music.”

Senior Christina O. Cannizzo, who plays American debutante Hope Harcourt, said the music in the show gives an opportunity for several people to have solos.

“Usually it’s only the leads, but a lot of people sing in this musical as soloists,” she said. “The music is very beautiful.”

Christina hopes to continue with musicals during her college years. She said students at General Brown appreciate the “amazing feedback” they get from audiences.

“We put so much dedication and time doing the show,” she said. “We spend every day after school practicing and then go home and study our lines. It’s a big part of our lives and every year, we get really excited to do the show.”

The details
WHAT: ‘Anything Goes,’ presented by the General Brown Performing Arts Club
WHERE: General Brown Junior/Senior High School, Route 12E, Brownville
WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday and 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $5.
There is a senior citizens dinner at 5 p.m. with show at 6:30 on Thursday. Tickets are $10 and $12. There are 200 tickets in all which are available from cast members.
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