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Crowd will get a kick out of 'Anything Goes'

Hayes thespians are getting into character for March 20-22 school musical

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Hayes High School's latest musical production will be so easy to love.

The school's thespians will present Anything Goes at 7:30 p.m. March 20-22, with a matinee at 2 p.m. March 22, in the auditorium at the school, 289 Euclid Ave.

About 90 students are participating in the musical, including 35 cast members, 30 orchestra members and 20 crew members.

Anything Goes, with a plot that concerns the romantic complications aboard a ship on its way from New York to London in 1934, includes more than two dozen songs written by Cole Porter.

Musical director Dara Gillis said it's a difficult show to perform due to its intricate dance numbers and tap-dancing routines.

"None of our students had any formal tap-dance training, but they have learned from difficult numbers," Gillis said. "I really think the community will enjoy this show."

She said one of the challenges for students is to learn about the era of the 1930s and 1940s to make their characters believable.

"We encourage our students to do research and character development beyond just learning their lines in the show," she said. "We want them to be as authentic as possible, which is challenging to a group of contemporary teenagers."

Brad Faust, assistant superintendent of the district and director of the musical, said he has been directing shows for 25 years and was excited to step into the director role when the regular drama teacher went on maternity leave.

"This has been especially fun for me to be the director," Faust said. "Since I'm not working in a school building anymore, it's been a great way for me to stay connected to our students."

Faust and Gillis said students have studied singers and actors from past eras in order to get into character.

"Students have been watching people like Mae West and Judy Garland perform, and looking at 1920s nightclub singers for inspiration," Faust said.

He said the show is classic musical theater, which isn't necessarily a genre that all the students are familiar with.

"I believe our audience will really appreciate this kind of classic musical theater," Faust said. "We've done all kinds of genres in the past, but this one is really a fun production for the students to learn and perform."

Faust said the production has met some hurdles, such as the number of snow days and students coping with the flu.

"We have been challenged by a lot of outside factors, but the best part of it for me is actually working with the students," he said. "That part isn't a challenge -- that's the fun part."

Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for students and seniors. For more information, call 740-833-1010.

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