Billy Crocker (Conner Bernard) and Reno Sweeney (Kennedy Carstens) set a lively, comedic tone in the opening number of Ursuline Academy's production of Anything Goes, "You're the Top".
Billy, portrayed by Conner Bernard, takes a flying leap to meet his partner in crime Moonface Martin, Portrayed by CJ Allen.
Nothing’s like a life out at sea, especially when you are on board with a second-rate gangster and his witty companion, Bonnie who has a crush on Billy who is in love with Hope who is engaged with Lord Evelyn who has fallen for Reno. A love sickness is curable only with moonlit serenades and catchy tap dance tunes.
The sparkles shined bright as Ursuline Academy’s rendition of the comical 1962 libretto of “Anything Goes” illuminated its stage. As the musical unfolds we see a desperate attempt from Billy to get Hope to love him once again. Under the identity of Public Enemy No. 1, Snake Eyes, Billy partners with Public Enemy No. 13, Moonface Martin, and Reno Sweeney in order to spoil Hope and Lord Evelyn’s engagement cruise.
Kennedy Carstens’ singing and dancing was more than commendable in the performances of “Anything Goes” and “Blow, Gabriel, Blow.” Carstens did an exceptional job portraying Reno’s flirty attitude and stuck with it brilliantly throughout the whole musical. Erin Frey playing Hope Harcourt ignited the stage, showing the technical difficulties of demonstrating who’s boss as she stayed in character and projected her voice, recovering beautifully. Billy Crocker played by Connor Bernard, went all out on his character. Using everything from his beautiful singing voice to his leg movements, in order to develop and pull off his hilarious character. The dynamic duo of Moonface Martin and Bonnie, played by CJ Allen and Julia Kempf, brought an exciting and humorous adventure on the S.S. American. Perfectly executing a New York gangster accent even while wittily singing songs like “Be Like the Bluebird” and “Heaven Hop.”
The set shimmered as the glitter in the blue paint sparkled in the spotlight. The magnificent two-floor ship was excellently constructed and painted, creating a perfect setting for not only the cheerful songs but also the more serious scenes. The set changes were implemented nicely by the run crew led by Molly Glassmeyer and Becka Jordan, transforming a ship to rooms and to a brig fast and smoothly, bringing the musical to life. The lighting was creative and inventive, using different colors and brightness, tailoring to the specific scene, making an obvious and brilliant switch from day to night and really accenting the beautiful costumes on stage.
Ursuline Academy put on a merit-worthy performance of “Anything Goes,” as they pulled off the expeditious musical with high stamina and talent. With any challenges, Ursuline Academy just sang like the bluebird, “tweet tweet, tra-la, tra-la, tra-la.”