Watertown High School Select Choir members arent letting tap dancing defeat them.
The Select Choir, led by school music director Russell J. Faunce, will stage the Cole Porter classic Anything Goes Thursday, Nov. 21, through Saturday, Nov. 23, with a special luncheon and show for senior citizens on Thursday, Nov. 21.
Its got a 1920s, 1930s feel and a lot of tap dancing, said senior Austin C. Myers, who plays Billy Crocker, before a recent rehearsal. A lot of us, including myself, have never tap danced. Thats probably the most difficult part.
But the progress of the tap dancers has impressed choreographer David A. Simmons.
Its just intricate, small steps, he said. Most of them are getting it quite quickly. Its impressive to see them go on the first day of, Im going to do that? to now. One of the big challenges is the tempo; keeping that same tempo as everyone.
Anything Goes is set on a cruise ship. It tells the story of playboy Billy Crocker, who has stowed away on the ship in order to woo his girlfriend away from a stuffy British suitor. Complicating the plot is a host of strange characters, including English noblemen, American gangsters, Chinese missionaries and a female evangelist turned nightclub singer.
Songs include I Get a Kick Out of You, Youre the Top, Its DeLovely and the title song.
The story has got kind of a little plot twist at the end, said senior Genny Wise, who plays stuffy heiress Mrs. Hope Harcourt. But you can see it coming. I think itll make the audience happy what happens at the end.
The shows original book was by British humorist P.G. Wodehouse with Guy Bolton and Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. It later was revised by Timothy Crouse and John Weidman.
Its funny and more laid back than some of the shows weve done in the past, like Phantom and Miss Saigon, Mr. Myers said. They were big, high-stress shows.
In 2012, Mr. Faunce and Select Choir members staged Phantom of the Opera and Miss Saigon only six weeks apart.
Mr. Faunce said he staged Anything Goes at Watertown High School in 1987. Cole Porters music appeals to him more than other classic Broadway composers, such as Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein.
I just think the songs are more singable, he said. Theyve got a little bit of jazz in them.
The audience also will have a good time, said Marley N. James, who recently moved to the school district from southern California.
Theyll be talking about the immense amount of talent we have in the community, she said.
Miss James, in the Anything Goes chorus, said she lived in a much smaller community than Watertown and was pleased to see the performing opportunities here.
Its just a phenomenal thing to see, she said.