ISKL’s production of “Anything Goes”, took the school by storm on the 25th, 26th, and 27th of September. Through the spectacle of bright lights, intricate dances, and astounding musical numbers, one thing is for certain – producing a musical is no easy feat.
The musical, written in the 1930’s by Cole Porter, is described by Ms. Meininger to be a “classic musical story where we have a love triangle, and everyone breaks out in spontaneous tap dancing”.
The plot follows the development of Reno, a former evangelist turned nightclub singer, Hope, a debutante, and Billy, who’s hopelessly in love with Hope. Moonface, a wannabe gangster, and Bonnie, Moonface’s ditzy partner in crime.The cast and crew consisted of a mix of dancers, singers, instrumentalists, and other eager students.
When the new school year opened, the performing arts department was already in a state of chaos in order to create a fantastic performance by the 25th of September. With just a total of 7 and a half weeks, roles had to be assigned, tap dances had to be learned, and lyrics had to be memorised. After that, everything had to be put together with the instruments, costume changes, and stage blocking. A daily struggle in the rehearsal, the directors found out, was getting everyone caught up, and working around people’s schedules to be proactive. Another aspect of the show that was discovered to be incredibly challenging was not only tap dancing and singing, but also tap dancing WHILE singing. Unlike typical ensemble dances, tap dancing depends on the musicality of every individual. This required hours of hard work and dedication of the ensemble.
Cheyenne ‘17 said, “Every night, I would go to sleep with the sound of the taps ringing in my ears. I would be so tired after 3-8 hours of non stop singing and tapping.”
Every week, students would devote 23 hours of rehearsals in total in order to perfect every aspect of the show. Many students, especially the upperclassmen, had to deal with the stress of the show, the long hours, and the copious amounts of workload each night.
As the middle schoolers stated so clearly last year in Fame Jr., “acting is the hardest profession in the world.. dance is the hardest profession in the world… music is the hardest profession in the world, the hardest profession in the world, hard work!”
This musical is not like the past musicals ISKL has done. Legally Blonde, which was performed in October 2013, is more modern and upbeat. This allowed for the audience to be more understanding of the context and the jokes, whereas many jokes in Anything Jokes flew over some of the audience members heads (who is George Bernard Shaw??). Also, unlike Anything Goes, where a lot of the plot was developed through song and dance, Legally Blonde focused more on the acting ability of the cast. However, a notable thing about Anything Goes, that was very different than Legally Blonde, is its abundance of lead characters. This was certainly one of the factors of why the music department chose this show.
Ms. Meininger said, “one reason we liked this is that there were a lot of roles, a lot of lead parts, a lot of characters… multiple characters for females as well, because a lot of musicals are really male-heavy, and we have lots of talented girls, so we really wanted to showcase them.”
As the show closed on Sunday afternoon on the 27th of September, many students had a feeling that could only be described as “postpartum depression”. They had to find ways to cope with their empty schedules, and many seniors were faced with the reality that they had completed their last high school musical.
Zarina ‘16, although sad about the end of the musical, said she was “very thankful that I was performing with such a kind and encouraging cast and that we turned a classic into a relatable and enjoyable show.”
Without a doubt, this production turned out to be a memorable experience for everyone in the ISKL community. Despite the long dress rehearsals and exhausting acting/singing/dancing sessions, the show turned out to be a success, and teachers and students alike enjoyed the brilliant display of ISKL’s talent that was shown on the stage.