Woodside Community Theatre stages 'Anything Goes'
Back in 1969, two young boys sat in the audience watching their parents star in Woodside's community production of "Anything Goes." Now grown men, those two actors are taking center stage in the upcoming show of "Anything Goes" at the Woodside High School Performing Arts Center.
On two weekends — Nov. 10-12 and Nov. 17-19 — Woodside Community Theatre's cast of about 45 adults and children will cruise its way through Cole Porter's musical comedy.
The show is one of Broadway's most enduring productions, featuring such popular songs as "You're the Top," "It's De-Lovely," and "I Get a Kick out of You."
"It's a fun, upbeat show, and we have such great dancers we wanted to highlight them with tap dancing," says co-producer Mindy Bowles of Woodside.
All performers tap dance at some point in the show, doing routines many of them started learning last summer from choreographer Gennine Harrington (who once upon a time played Snow White in "Beach Blanket Babylon").
Michael Taylor of Redwood City is the new stage director this year. He acts and sings with companies such as Opera San Jose and West Bay Opera when he's not directing shows.
"We have a wonderful cast ... full of evangelizing chorus girls, wanna-be gangsters, Wall Street big hitters, effete Englishmen, and a sundry chorus, who all get together and do amazing things on a ship set in the 1930s."
This production is the revised 1962 version of "Anything Goes," scripted by Guy Bolton, P.G. Wodehouse, Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse.
Mr. Taylor says he's particularly impressed with how the actors are "getting to know the characters and making them real people with real emotions."
He calls one of the leads "sultry" because of the way Sharon Maxwell-Yamamoto of Santa Clara portrays Reno Sweeny.
Back in the 1969 Woodside production, Reno was Hanna Wenrick's part. Now her son David, a math teacher at Woodside Elementary, is taking the stage as Sir Evelyn Oakley.
Both of Fletcher Johnson's parents appeared in the 1969 show. This time around, they will be in the audience to watch him reprise the same role his father played, Captain.
Woodside Community Theatre continues to be a family effort in many ways. For the fourth year in a row, Akio Patrick of Woodside is the set builder and his daughter LeeAnn is in the chorus. Donna Losey is co-producing, and her daughter Brigitte, another Woodside Elementary student, is in the chorus as well.
Alison and Emily Ross are a mother/daughter team from Atherton appearing in the chorus. Woodside Elementary sisters, Devon and Alanna McNaughton, are in the chorus, too.
Woodside High School student Lily Meyn plays an angel. Her parents are in charge of props.
Woodside couple Darrell and Darlene Batchelder are doing the show. He's Elijah J. Whitney and she's in the chorus.
Other locals include Redwood City native Nate Moss starring as Billy. He acted in the last two Woodside Community Theatre productions, "Kiss Me, Kate" and "Oklahoma!"
A general casting call went out over the Internet and attracted some farther-flung performers such as Robert Snedegar of Belmont, who is playing Moonface Martin. He has previously appeared at Hillbarn Theatre in Foster City.
Kerie Geni commutes from San Jose to play the role of Hope.
Musical Director Richard Gordon, lives in Woodside and conducts the Woodside Village Band. He will conduct a full orchestra for this show.
Tickets cost $18 for adults, $15 for seniors, and $10 for students. To order, call 562-3900.
The show runs on two consecutive weekends, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 10, 11, 17, and 18 at 7:30 p.m., with matinees offered on Sunday, Nov. 12 and 19 at 2:30 p.m.
The theater is located on the Woodside High School campus, at 199 Churchill Ave., just off of Woodside Road.
For more information go to www.woodsidetheatre.org.
Woodside Community Theatre started back in the 1950s with a local group of adults and children performing shows every year. The tradition broke off during the 1990s, and then was revived in 2003 by Mrs. Bowles and her husband Mark, the technical director of "Anything Goes."