By Sheena Barnett
NEW ALBANY – “Anything Goes” is the biggest musical New Albany High School has ever produced – so much so, nearly all of the student body is involved.
“We have 97 students in the cast,” said Sylvia Nanney, who’s directing the show with her husband, Phil. Her daughter, Mary Beth Muncie, helps with directing and choreography. “The building trades class at vo-tech helped build the set, and the art department worked on painting the set and props, and the drama class worked on the set and props. I’d say about three-fourths of the students have contributed to the whole play.”
The classic musical comedy, complete with the music of Cole Porter, tells the story of nightclub singer Reno (Caryn Gillean) and her friend Billy (Rider Red), who travel on the S.S. American. Billy hopes to win the heart of Hope (Brooke Fowler), but there are others on board, like Public Enemy #13, Moonface Martin (Mark Robbins), who are out to stir up trouble.
Robbins, a senior, played a similar role last year in “Annie.”
“It’s the same character as last year, but on a boat. It’s Rooster on a boat,” he said, laughing.
Red, a junior, is new to New Albany High School, and “Anything Goes” is his first musical.
“I asked my dad if he’d laugh at me if I was in a musical, and he said no,” he said.
Junior Gillean said her character – along with her tap dancers, who fill the entire stage – make “Anything Goes” a fun musical.
“Reno is extremely outgoing, and she doesn’t see herself as a lady. She hangs out with the guys,” she said. “It’s hilarious.”
The production has brought the whole school together, she said.
“The musical’s brought me closer to a lot of people,” she said. “It’s a bonding experience.”
Robbins said he hopes to see everyone come out for the show.
“Everybody feels like this is something they can be proud of,” he said. “You can’t find a school that can put on a production better than we can.”
DIM THE LIGHTS
• What: New Albany High School presents “Anything Goes”
• When: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday
• Where: New Albany High School Auditorium
• Cost: $10/reserved, $8/general admission
• Info: (662) 534-1805