Today: Oct 16 , 2019

'Anything Goes' Comes to Life at the Prescott Center for the Arts
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15 September 2019  

Cole Porter Sweeps into PCA

With amazing singing and dancing, the Prescott Center for the Arts (PCA) troupe sparkles their way through the 1934 musical “Anything Goes.” Set on an ocean liner crossing from New York to London there are the usual plot elements—star crossed lovers, mistaken identities, crazy situations and characters, all set to the music of Cole Porter and placed aboard the SS American.

The plot is not that difficult: Lovelorn Billy Crocker (Angel Morado) in a desperate attempt to stop heiress Hope Harcourt (Hope Elizabeth Olson) from marrying Englishman Lord Evelyn Oakleigh, stows away aboard the SS American. Aided by his friend, Reno Sweeney (played by April Manchester-MIller), a nightclub singer and a group of other helpful conspirators, Billy sets out to divert Hope from her planned trajectory and help her find a new direction with him. Of course, along the way, Billy encounters a few diversions of his own to deal with.

It’s easy to sympathize with the plight of Billy and Hope, however, it is Reno’s charmingly disruptive efforts that really lead the way to a happy ending.

With their usual amazing talent, the set designers have managed to turn the tiny stage into a whole ocean liner, complete with staterooms, multiple decks and even a brig. The costumes are wonderful and the lighting is very well done. Even the sometimes erratic sound system seems to be unobtrusively doing its job in this production.

The whole cast has obviously worked very hard to bring off this complicated production and manages to convey a sense of fun. It is a joy to hear these amazing songs (some still familiar today, “Anything Goes,” “I Get a Kick Out of You,” and “Let’s Misbehave,” for example,) and witty lines brought to life in this excellent rendition. Manchester-Miller is a standout as Reno Sweeney, and Angel Morado plays a very sympathetic Angel Morado. Hope Elizabeth Olson as Hope Harcourt showcased her lovely singing voice and a feisty personality. Even those that didn't have any lines obviously enjoyed their roles in the play and greatly complemented the show. By the end, audience members will find themselves humming and even dancing as they make their way to their vehicles.

This family-friendly performance appeals to all ages, and is well worth the price of admission. Fortunately, you still have about two more weeks to see this excellent show, which highlights community theater at its best.

Note: This is the 50th Anniversary of the Prescott Center for the Arts (PCA), and they are ready to, “Set the Stage for the Future.” PCA has launched an ambitious capital campaign, hoping to raise $3.2 million to construct a new Multi-Purpose facility to replace the Stage Too venue and also renovate their current buildings. For those interested in the future of PCA, learn more about their capital campaign here and how to contribute.

If You Go:

What: Anything Goes
Who: Prescott Center for the Arts
When: Sunday, September 15 through September 29

  • Matinees @ 2 PM on Sunday, September 15, 22 and 29
  • Evening performances @ 7:30 PM on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday; September 18, 19, 29, 21, 25, 26, 27 and 28th

Where: Prescott Center for the Arts, at the corner of Marina and Willis in Prescott
Cost: Ticket prices range from $18-25