October is musical time and their choice was Cole Porter’s classic Anything Goes, directed by Gail Cobb with Jonathon Wilby as musical director
Of all the shows I have seen DOS perform, this was one of the special ones. They had gone to town on the set and the principal players went that extra mile with their singing, dancing and acting.
The show is set aboard an American cruise ship bound for England, on two levels with two sets of stairs on stage.
The plot involved a gangster in disguise, aristocrats, a Wall Street banker, a lady of dubious character and another who had feelings for the crew.
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Since the show opened on Broadway in 1934 all the stars who have played the female lead Reno Sweeney (the dubious lady) have had really strong voices to belt out songs like I Get a Kick Out of You and Blow Gabriel Blow.
Sally Hartley, as Reno, has such a voice and used it to raise the rafters at The Lyric in Dinnington. Sally’s dancing qualifications also came to the fore.
Everyone danced in some form and choreographer Michelle Holland did a great job.
Louise Selden played Erma, the floozy, with lots of hip wiggles and a naughty glint in her eye - a pleasure to watch.
Steve Ball as Elisha Witney, Dorothy Stothard as Mrs Harcourt and Adrian Wilson as the captain all played their roles to the full and David Egan as the purser let us hear his magnificent voice.
Olivia Egan looked just the part of Hope Harcourt with her 1930s hair and long flowing dress. She revealed the very melodic voice and dancing style of someone who teaches theatre.
Johnny Green played toff, Lord Evelyn, for laughs and enjoyed revealing his character’s family secret – a gypsy gene.
Jonathon Cobb was the gangster Moonface Martin and sang, danced and acted with energy.
Stage manager Richard Concannon and the cast of passengers and crew created a professional-looking and sounding production, the co-ordination and accuracy of movement around stage was admirable.
Phillip Probert played male lead Billy Crocker, the Wall Street banker’s assistant. His singing was outstanding. He gave it his all, singing with precision, sensitivity and professionalism.
It was significant for him because he lost his mother Trish in a tragic accident this year. She directed the exceptional pantomime Puss in Boots and should have performed in Anything Goes. Phillip dedicated his performance to her.
By Wendy Fidoe