Arlington Heights theater stages historic 1934 musical with music and lyrics by Cole Porter and book by P.G. Wodehouse and Guy Bolton
A denizen of Chicago’s Bucktown/Wicker Park venturing to Arlington Heights on a weekend night might think that they are looking at the hip scene of their neighborhood a half a century hence. It’s downright buzzing on the early autumn streets near the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, albeit with many a walker and oxygen tank in the restaurant crowds, and far less diversity . That’s even more the case when you venture into the theater lobby to see Anything Goes, a Cole Porter classic laced with P.G. Wodehouse zingers.
Metropolis Performing Arts Centre Has Local Roots
Actually, by the applause-o-meter one can also tell that the audience is heavy on family and friends of the cast. In fact the press release for this production gives a shout out to two locals who are part of this 26 person ensemble. This is community theater – and this production as all at Metropolis seems to get a warm embrace from the community it serves. You don’t just see great costumes (Costume Designer: Rachel S. Parent) you also see a projected thank you to the Costumes sponsor-- Lynn and Doug Steffen. The theater clearly gets its share of local love.
If you lilt when you hear Cole Porter lyrics and bon mots from P.G. Wodehouse’s inimitable pen, you too might likely be drawn to this lighthearted boy-gets-girl-despite-the-odds musical. You hear classic tunes that have probably been saturating the musical ether of your life since before you became sentient—the title song, I Get a Kick Out of You, Let’s Misbehave, Blow Gabriel Blow, It’s De-lovely. It’s set on a boat with very effective lighting designs creating skies above that makes us feel at sea (Lighting Design: Michael Wagner Projection Design: .
There is an easy to appreciate all hands on deck—literally /figuratively—pre-intermission tap dancing number where you get to admire the hard work and rehearsals that no doubt were required to create that ensemble moment. Some of the more campy acting that helps transport this story into the 21st Century- especially by comic actors Mark Pontarelli and Connor Murray - give the performance welcomed juice. This 1934 musical is part of the musical theater canon and at some point any lover of musical theater should see it. However, this writer can’t really recommend this production to city dwellers as meriting the drive--- which took more than an hour from the North Side on a rainy Friday night. If you live near by and welcome an injection of live performance this might be a good pick.
Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter
Original Book by P.G. Wodehouse & Guy Bolton and Howard Lindsay & Russel Crouse
New Book by Timothy Crouse & John Weidman
Anastasia Arnold (Angel/Virtue), Michael M. Ashford (Ensemble), Jordan Beyeler (Angel/Chastity; Dance Captain), Halle Bins (Ensemble), Chih-Jou Cheng (Luke), Maddie Dorsey (Erma Latour), Madelyne Forrester (Ensemble), Jessica Miret Garcia (Angel/Charity), Justice Good (Quartet 4, Purser), Nancy Greco (Mrs. Evangeline Harcourt), Sara Haverty (Angel/Purity), Jim Heatherly (Elisha Whitney), Jon Parker Jackson (Quartet 1, Fred), Nina Jayashankar (Ensemble), Joseph Kuchey (Ensemble), Brian Kulaga (Billy Crocker), Kelly Lohrenz (Ensemble), Sam Martin (Ensemble), Brandy Miller (Hope Harcourt), Connor Murray (Lord Evelyn Oakleigh), Kaity Paschetto (Ensemble), Mark Pontarelli (Moonface Martin), Peter Ruger (John), Wade Tischhauser (Ensemble; Dance Captain), Alexander Watson (Quartet 2, Rev. Henry Dobson), and Bryan J. Wlas (Quartet 3, Captain)
Directed by Robin M. Hughes, Music Directed by Kenneth McMullen, Choreographed by Christie Kerr. Designers are Marc Beth (Sound Designer), David Moreland (Technical Director), Rachel S. Parent (Costume Designer), Christopher Rhoton (Scenic Designer), Michael Wagner (Lighting Designer), and Jennifer Wernau (Properties Designer). Metropolis Executive Artistic Director is Joe Keefe. Metropolis Production Manager is William A. Franz, Assistant Production Manager is Abbie Brenner.
Thru November 2, 2019
Thursdays and Fridays 7:30 pm
Saturday 3:00 and 7:30 pm
Sunday 3:00 pm
Metropolis Performing Arts Centre
111 West Campbell Street
Arlington Heights, Illinois
For full-priced tickets and ticket availability information visit the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre website or call 847.577.2121.
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Photos courtesy of Metropolis Performing Arts Centre.
Note: Picture This Post reviews are excerpted by Theatre in Chicago
About the Author:
Amy Munice is Editor-in-Chief and Co-Publisher of Picture This Post. She covers books, dance, film, theater, music, museums and travel. Prior to founding Picture This Post, Amy was a freelance writer and global PR specialist for decades—writing and ghostwriting thousands of articles and promotional communications on a wide range of technical and not-so-technical topics.
Amy hopes the magazine’s click-a-picture-to-read-a-vivid-account format will nourish those ever hunting for under-discovered cultural treasures. She especially loves writing articles about travel finds, showcasing works by cultural warriors of a progressive bent, and shining a light on bold, creative strokes by fledgling artists in all genres.