Tickets on sale for 'Anything Goes' at Shady Side Academy
After seven years directing musicals at Shady Side Academy, Dana Hardy-Bingham has found a performance to showcase “incredibly talented dancers” and provide her “serious singers and musicians” a classic Cole Porter score to challenge them.
The senior school will present “Anything Goes,” the 1934 madcap adventure of boy-meets-girl on a cruise ship bound from New York to London.
Toe-tapping tunes include familiar titles like “You're the Top” and “I Get a Kick Out of You.”
“I have considered directing ‘Anything Goes' for a couple of years now, waiting for just the right dancers,” Hardy-Bingham said.
The shows will be at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 9-10 and 2 p.m. Feb. 11 at the Hillman Center for Performing Arts on the school's campus at 423 Fox Chapel Road, Fox Chapel. Tickets cost $15 for adults and $12 for students and can be purchased online at shadysideacademy.org/theater, by phone at 412-968-3040 or at the door.
With more than 75 students participating in the cast, crew and orchestra pit, principal roles include junior Koji Shimada of Fox Chapel, senior Antoni Yotov of O'Hara, senior Chester Todd of Fox Chapel and senior Emily Weiss of Penn Hills.
Shimada, a junior, plays the character of Billy, a ship stowaway in love with an heiress who is assisted in his quest to win her by lovable gangster Moonface Martin.
The Fox Chapel resident said there is a indescribable feeling that comes from being on stage.
“It's part adrenaline and part escapism,” Shimada said. “You feel this burst of energy and the real world fades away. It's incredibly liberating and I've found that I can only get that feeling on stage, which is why performing is so much fun for me.”
Shimada has participated in SSA musicals since middle school and said the audience might be surprised to know how much work goes into the production by the cast, crew, pit musicians and production team.
“It is a huge amount of time and effort to get the show running,” Shimada said. “On some level though, we don't want the audience to realize that because if we do our jobs right, everything should seem seamless and effortless.”
Faculty member Dan Brill is the show's music director. Staff member Austin Davidheiser is the technical director and lighting and set designer. Tron McConnell is assistant technical director, Val Williams is choreographer and Leah Klocko is costume designer. Senior Izzy Calihan of Fox Chapel is assistant director.
Hardy-Bingham said this year's set provided a new challenge in building a gigantic ship.
“All the students have worked extremely hard to pull off the best production possible,” she said.
“This is a fun, silly, wacky plot full of comical over-the-top characters giving our actors a good chance to embody big, broad, comically stylized characters — a great challenge for any actor, but especially teenagers who are often more understated than larger than life.”