Don’t Miss the Boat – See Anything Goes

by Praveena Raman
Tri-City Voice – August 9, 2005

Star Struck’s S. S. Ocean liner had its maiden voyage on Friday August 5 in Fremont, California. More than 200 passengers and crew set sail at 8:15 p.m. from the Ohlone College Amphitheater under clear starry skies. About 50 of the passengers and crew with a comical disposition and musical talent set out to entertain the remaining passengers.

Though it seems absurd that a cruise could depart from the hills of Fremont, the setting of “Anything Goes” complimented by the set design could make one forget that they are actually watching a Cole Porter musical. Director Lori Stokes has once again delivered an outstanding “Golden Oldie” with excellent casting and direction. From the moment they step on board, Courtney Stokes as Reno, Evan Boomer as the lovesick Billy Crocker, Anthony Vega as Moonface Martin and Jordan Aragon as Evelyn Oakleigh play their parts to the hilt. They are supported strongly by Juliane Godfrey, Laura Sa, Melissa Modifer and James Huang.

Courtney Stokes’ rendition of night club singer Reno Sweeney was excellent; she stole the evening with “Blow Gabriel Blow.” Another show stealer was Anthony Vega’s singing of “Be like the Blue Bird.” Jordan Aragon captured the audience’s heart with his portrayal of British Aristocrat Evelyn Oakleigh depicting P.G. Wodehouse’s droll sense of humor. Evan Boomer also put on a strong performance, especially with vocal variations of different characters.

Music director Nancy Godfrey and vocal director Jeff Oliveira have done an excellent job and choreography by Jeanne Batacan-Harper is exceptional. Chris Booras has done an outstanding job in lighting and set adaptation matched by Adam Fresquez in sound. Marlene Borlaug continues to amaze audiences with the costumes design.

The delivery of lines with good diction by the cast made it easy to follow the play. However, for future performances, it would be nice if a synopsis is included in the program to help those who are not familiar with American Theater. On the whole, Anything Goes delivers much more than expected by amateur theatre – it is in a league of its own.

Complete your summer enjoyment and see this hilarious comedy. Anything Goes continues on Thursday August 11, Friday August 12 and Saturday August 13 at 8:15 p.m. at the Ohlone College Amphitheater, on 43600 Mission Boulevard Fremont, CA 94539. 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 or Ohlone College box office at 510-659-6031 or visit their website at