A Fitting Name

It won’t give you a new perspective on life, but the new production by the Uncommoners of Jamestown Community College is ready to provide you with an entire evening of fun, accompanied by the unequaled songs of Cole Porter.

The name of the show is ”Anything Goes,” and that’s a good name for it, too.

The show takes place aboard an ocean liner, in the 1930s, which is sailing from New York City to England. Among the passengers are a debutante and her ritzy mother, a gangster and his moll, a former evangelist who is now working as a nightclub singer, with four of her chorus girls, to name just a few. Naturally, they’re going to encounter all the wrong people, for a while, but nothing terrible is going to happen, and then everyone will do some tap dancing and end up with the right person, after all.

Director Robert Schlick has decided to just go with the flow, on this one, and to allow everyone to show off his special talents and to have a great time. And speaking of having a great time, the show comes with ”You’re the Top,” ”It’s DeLovely,” ”Let’s Misbehave,” ”Blow Gabriel, Blow,” ”I Get a Kick Out of You,” and that light and lovely title song, ”Anything Goes.”

It isn’t one of the show’s songs, but to borrow a line from George Gershwin, ”Who Could Ask for Anything More?”

A special cheer for Teal Weatherly, who plays the ship’s nightclub singer, Reno Sweeny with all the brass and all the vinegar which Ethel Merman once gave the role, when the show was new. Hooray1

Jennie Cross is lovely as the demure Hope Harcourt, who is sailing to England to marry her English nobleman, but who finds spending the trip with harddriving junior executive Billy Crocker is more her cup of Lapsang Souchong. A cheer is in order to Holly Weston as her mother, who ends up cutting one mean rug of her own.

Derek DeVliegar was a hoot as Hope’s ever so proper intended, and Amie Adams matched him from the other end of the social scale as the hardtapping gun moll.

Dwain Graham was tall and handsome, and moved very well, as Billy, the guy who gets the girl, in the end.

A major plus came from Mary Ann Harp and the very fine orchestra which she conducted, and what a joy it was to have them incorporated into the stage picture, rather than tootling forlornly from another room, or down among the audience.

Steven Gustafson was technical director, and stylishly designed the show, together with Gary Peters, Jr.

The evening is a hoot. It’s bright, energetic, the cast is attractive – I’m quoting Gershwin, again, for a Cole Porter show ”Who Could Ask for Anything More?”