Reviews: Ursuline Academy impresses with 'Anything Goes'

Ellen Warning

Simon Kenton High School

The singing, choreography and lines were delivered excellently throughout the entire show and everyone participating was very clearly committed. The actress and actor who stood out were Kennedy Carstens and Connor Bernard playing the roles of Reno Sweeney and Billy Crocker respectively. Carstens had a very strong voice and a beautiful understanding of the character. Just the way she spoke and sang truly emphasized the type of person Reno was. Bernard's performance was very animated and comedic. Even the movements he made helped add a more relaxed nature to the musical, creating a light, fun atmosphere. The ways Bernard sang and danced were very unique to that specific character and were quite expertly portrayed.

Kendall Hart

Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy

In Ursuline Academy’s production of “Anything Goes,” everything, from the impressive set to the hilarious actors to the spot on dance moves, helped to take the audience aboard the ship and into the madness that ensues. The production numbers were all huge, impressive show stoppers, filling the stage to the brim with students stepping in time to the fantastic, fully student-written choreography. Thanks to the believable costumes, makeup, set and cast, the audience was transported onto the deck of the U.S.S. American where, according to Reno, “Anything Goes.”

Zoe Cheng

Walnut Hills High School

The characters were grandiose, and the performers who played them rose to the challenge. Powerful stage presences combined with a beautiful set to create a coherent nautical atmosphere.
Kennedy Carstens (Reno Sweeney) was both the backbone of the show and posed a triple threat. In numbers such as “Blow, Gabriel, Blow” and “Anything Goes,” Carstens displayed her tap dance and acting prowess alongside stellar vocals. Carstens was Reno through-and-through, and the stage chemistry between her and Connor Bernard (Billy Crocker) could not have been more natural. Bernard, who attends Fairfield High School, was a comical actor in his portrayal of the desperately-in-love protagonist. His belting voice, which became apparent in “It’s De-lovely,” paired concordantly with his comedy and acting.

Ryan Mulvaney

Colerain High School

The show would not have been complete without the outrageously hysterical duo consisting of Bonnie, played by Julia Kempf, and Moonface Martin, artfully played by CJ Allen. In particular, Allen kept the audience roaring with laughter every time he hit the stage. Along with enhancing the comedic aspect of the production, Allen also contributed to the vocal depth within the cast. Throughout his musical selections he utilized both a character and natural voices to project his part which was done masterfully. In many occurrences, a special group of young women accompanied Reno Sweeney in large company numbers. These women, known as the Dance Chorus, were especially talented in their tap dancing technique which must be commended as this is not an easy style of dance to grasp.

Stephanie Lutz

Colerain High School

The cast came together beautifully, whether it was contributing to harmony or intricate tap numbers, all of which were created by students. Despite the little room they had backstage the cast was quick and orderly when entering and exiting the stage. Although, not all of the choreography was in unison, the cast showed no sign of apprehension. Every cast member stayed consistently in character, even when in the background of the scene. All of which captured the atmosphere of a cruise ship that certainly had its own definition of “rocking the boat.”

Casey Machenheimer

Walnut Hills High School

The cast did an excellent job with their difficult tap numbers, choreographed by the students Claire Hennessey, Sydney Carroll and Kennedy Carstens. The musical numbers “Blow, Gabriel, Blow” and “Anything Goes” were definitely highlights of the show, with abundant energy displayed by the Dance Chorus and Reno Sweeney’s Angels.

Joseph Glandorf

Walnut Hills High School

Ursuline Academy’s production captured that hilarity outstandingly. The production was extraordinarily well thought out; hilarious line delivery, spectacular dance numbers and excellent singing permeated the entire production.

The ensembles in the play were nothing short of amazing. During many dance numbers, the entire stage was crowded with a veritable mass of people. The dance chorus taps in amazing synchronization and showed extreme agility in the small space. The two 'foreigners' (Carmen Carigan and Michael Viox) added spectacle and zaniness in the bluebird song with their rapid-fire tapping.

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