Anything Goes opens August 5 despite setback

by Praveena Raman
Tri-City Voice – July 27, 2005

Star Struck Musical Theatre’s summer production “Anything Goes” will be opening on August 5 at the Ohlone College Outdoor Amphitheater, 43600 Mission Boulevard Fremont, CA 94539. Directed by Lori Stokes, this Cole Porter musical stars more than fifty youth aged 7-19 from different parts of the East Bay; many from the Tri-City area. This production also showcases some of this musical theatre’s alumni, who are pursuing theatrical degrees, in the roles of Assistant Director, Vocal Director and Stage Manager.

Recently the production had a setback when their rehearsal space on Osgood Road was burglarized and $7,000 worth of equipment and cash stolen. Among the property lost are a computer and two keyboards. The keyboards are used by music director Nancy Godfrey to accompany the performers as they sing and perform on stage. In spite of this setback, rehearsals are going strong and the talented cast is getting ready to delight the community with this musical comedy.

Anything Goes, the fourth longest running musical in the 1930s, was first envisioned by producer Vinton Freedley when hiding from his creditors on a fishing boat in the Gulf of Panama. After his return to New York and paying off his creditors, he assembled his dream team consisting of Cole Porter, Guy Bolton, P.G. Wodehouse and Ethel Merman to write the script based on an ocean liner facing a possible shipwreck. However, just as rehearsals were starting, the S.S. Morro Castle went down off the coast of New Jersey and more than 125 passengers lost their lives. After this highly publicized disaster, Freedley decided that the script should be rewritten without the shipwreck; the revised edition was titled Anything Goes.

Set on the luxury liner S.S. American heading towards England, this musical comedy tells the story of nightclub singer Reno Sweeney (Courtney Stokes) helping her friend, stowaway Billy Crocker (Evan Boomer). Crocker is in desperate pursuit of his love, debutante Hope Harcourt (Laura Sa) hoping to prevent her from marrying English aristocrat Sir Evelyn Oakleigh (Jordan Aragon). Cole Porter’s musical scores are the highlight of this comedy which include I Get A Kick Out Of You, It’s De-Lovely, All Through The Night and the title number Anything Goes.

Star Struck Musical Theatre has been delighting the Tri-City community since 1995 with full length musicals of high caliber. The theatre has also been providing quality training for East Bay youth in all aspects of theatrical production. This non-profit organization relies solely on the support of the community for its existence and productions. The recent theft puts the organization in a difficult financial position. Star Struck Board of Directors, its talented cast and crew, parents and supporters invite the community to attend their opening night “en masse” on August 5, to show their support and help recoup the deficit. Bring a blanket and enjoy Anything Goes under the balmy summer night sky with gorgeous views of the bay as a backdrop.

Anything Goes opens on August 5 and runs through August 12 at the Ohlone College Outdoor Amphitheater on 43600 Mission Boulevard Fremont, CA 94539. Performance dates are as follows – Friday, August 5; Saturday, August 6; Sunday, August 7; Thursday, August 11; Friday, August 12 and Saturday, August 13. All shows are at 8:15 p.m. Tickets are $15 Adults ($18 at the door) and $12 seniors and students ($15 at the door).

To buy tickets, call Star Struck’s box office at 510-659-1319, Ohlone College box office at 510-659-6031 or visit their website at Donations to Star Struck can be sent to Star Struck Musical Theatre, C/O Lori Stokes 43575 Mission Blvd. #616, Fremont, CA 94539.