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Kingston High stages 'Anything Goes'

Terry McAuley sings while Jason Kramberger, Geoff Wendt and Thomas Karren play trombones in the Kingston High Drama Club’s production of “Anything Goes.” - Courtesy Photo
Terry McAuley sings while Jason Kramberger, Geoff Wendt and Thomas Karren play trombones in the Kingston High Drama Club’s production of “Anything Goes.”
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

KINGSTON — When a cast of whimsical characters joins a band of talented musicians on the high seas, anything can happen.

That’s precisely the case in the Kingston High School Drama Club’s production of “Anything Goes,” continuing Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. at the North Kitsap Auditorium.

“We have a lot of fun performing it,” said Kingston High senior Ashley Parker, who plays Erma. “It’s really funny, and it’s quirky and kind of cheesy.”

The musical, set in the 1930s, tells the story of Billy Crocker, a young New Yorker hopelessly in love with the ironically named Hope Harcourt. When Crocker finds out Harcourt is planning to marry another man, he follows her aboard an ocean liner bound for London to break up the wedding. The result, Parker says, is a musical comedy people of all ages can enjoy.

The play opened Jan. 22 and continued Jan. 23 and 24 at the Auditorium. Kingston High drama teacher Alison Roberts, who directs the play, said the opening weekend went better than expected.

“The opening night went shockingly smooth,” Roberts said. “We felt very happy with the performance.”

Claire Polson, who plays nightclub singer Reno Sweeney, attributed the smooth opening to a cast that has matured in recent months. Last spring, the troupe performed “Fiddler on the Roof,” and many of the actors took some time to get used to the play.

“I think everyone has grown a lot since ‘Fiddler,’” Polson said.

“Anything Goes” is more lighthearted than “Fiddler” and the group’s last production, “Dracula,” but it’s no small feat to pull off. The play is only Roberts’ second musical, and requires a cast of 44 students, including the Kingston High Jazz Band.

Adam Campagna, Kingston High’s music director, said the biggest hurdle the cast has had to overcome is the size of the production.

“I think the challenge comes from the fact that musicals are so big,” Campagna said. “There’s so many elements that have to fall into place.”

Still, the cast and crew are enjoying themselves.

“This one is so goofy,” Polson said of the play. “It’s a lot more fun than a serious musical.”

Roberts said she chose “Anything Goes” not only for the comedic value, but to showcase the Kingston High Jazz Band, which plays below stage in the orchestra pit.

“We were looking for a jazz score for our band, because we have such a great band,” Roberts said. “Having them playing down there helps keep up the energy on stage.”

“Anything Goes” continues at 7 p.m. tonight and Saturday, at the North Kitsap Auditorium, located on NE Hostmark Street in Poulsbo, across from North Kitsap High School. Tickets are available at the door and are $12 for adults and $10 for students and senior citizens.

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