‘Anything Goes’ for this Musical

Joseph Tamarez, 11th Grade

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Teaneck has produced many different shows over its long history, but not many come close in style to “‘Anything Goes”, Teaneck High School upcoming spring musical. Mr. Bell and Ms. Baer got to speak to their thoughts on the show and give insight to the early stages of production.

According to the duo, the most important thing to tell potential viewers about the play if they’ve never heard of “Anything Goes” is that it’s a different play from the types Teaneck High School has attempted before. At the bare bones of the production it’s unique, with the idea being to have a revolving set that literally spins on stage through a large turning table. All other sets before were single sets; this would be the very first attempt at an actively changing set.

In terms of the plot, Broadway’s official website describes the play as tale set aboard the ocean liner S.S. American, where nightclub singer/evangelist Reno Sweeney is en route from New York to England. Her pal Billy Crocker has stowed away to be near his love, Hope Harcourt, but the problem is Hope is engaged to the wealthy Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. Joining this love triangle on board the luxury liner are Public Enemy #13, Moonface Martin and his sidekick-in-crime Erma. With the help of some elaborate disguises, tap-dancing sailors and good old-fashioned blackmail, Reno and Martin join forces to help Billy in his quest to win Hope’s heart.”

When the question of how it compares to the most recent show came up, Bell explained “It’s just meant to be entertaining”. Baer further added that the play isn’t supposed to teach anything like Twilight Los Angeles 1992 taught about the Rodney King Riots.

When I asked the two of them if they had seen the play before, Ms.Baer said she saw it when Mr.Bell was in it, playing Moonface Martin in Bergen County Player’s production.

“I’ve directed about 20 different shows there.” Bell said, talking about his experience with Bergen County players. Mr.Bell saw the play on Broadway, but also at Fair Lawn High School.

When asked what they liked about the show, Baer instantly thought of the dancing. She described the dancing as a “type of dancing we’ve [Teaneck High School] never done before”, and said that she enjoyed that aspect the most.
Bell enjoyed the characters. “There are so many different types of comic characters,” which Baer added onto when asked about what Teaneck wants to do differently with the production. She talked about the Teaneck community, and how fortunate the production is to have such a diverse crowd to choose from for the roles.

“Our casting is going to come out differently,” Baer stated. “You’d have to go far and wide to find a cast as diverse.”

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