Grand County, CO Colorado
On Monday night I attended Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes” at the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre.
The performance was very entertaining and funny. I left wanting to dance down the street.
“Anything Goes” takes place on an Atlantic cruise ship that combines love and crime with music, dancing and comedy. I found myself comparing it to “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” as events and the relationships of the passengers become discombobulated.
Reno Sweeney (Jamie Anderson) enters as the sultry leading lady looking for love. She helps her pursuit connect with his true love, and finds love for herself in the end after all.
Anderson sang and danced across the stage, opening with “I Get a Kick Out of You.” She gave an impressive performance leading the rest of the cast in a rousing song and dance number to the title song, “Anything Goes,” just before intermission.
Anderson gave the production energy, but unfortunately for Grand Lake, she is taking all her energy to New York after this summer season to pursue her acting dream.
Moonface Martin (Kyle Blair) stole the comedy in the show. Blair played a natural in his role as a criminal disguising himself as a man of the cloth. His delivery and antics keep you laughing throughout the play and then of course you end up being partial to the bad guy.
Other notable performances were Erma (Stephanie Hansen) playing the steamy sidekick to Moonface Martin. Hansen swivels her way across the stage grabbing the attention of the sailors and also showed off her strong vocals in singing, “Buddie, Beware.”
The surprise of the night came from the performance of local talent David Heil playing the role of Elisha Whitney. Heil is pastor of Trinity Church in the Pines in Grand Lake. His comedic acting skills are well-honed and he could easily follow Anderson to New York.
The production is worth the price of the ticket and the drive to Grand Lake, and not just for visitors. The theater itself is a great asset to Grand County and provides locals access to high caliber entertainment.
As for my credentials as critic, my first taste of “theater” was in the fourth grade. I had a small bit as Fairy Twinkle in the play “Purple on the Moon”. My next appearance on the stage wasn’t until high school when I played in “Lil’ Abner” and in various one act plays. I was then voted in as the vice president of the Speech and Drama Club.
My real love for live theater bloomed living in Denver when I attended as many Off-Broadway and local productions as I could – “Phantom of the Opera” (three times), “Miss Saigon,” “Cats,” “The Lion King” (twice), “Dam Yankees,” “Annie Get Your Gun,” “Evita,” “Les Miserables,” etc. I have the souvenir mugs to prove it (except for “Annie Get Your Gun” – it was the last night and they were out).
I have great respect and appreciation for stage actors because it is not like acting in a movie – you only get one take. Rehearsing is an enormous amount of work and very time consuming.
Last night I overheard the lady sitting behind me ask, “Wouldn’t it be fun to spend the summer in Grand Lake acting in this theater?” Yes it would.
The crew made it look fun Monday night.
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