The Upper Arlington High School vocal music department promises a toe-tapping experience for audiences that turn out for "Anything Goes."

Performances are scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 22-24 at Upper Arlington High School, 1650 Ridgeview Road; the Feb. 23 show will feature American Sign Language interpreters.

A matinee finale will be presented at the high school at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 25.

Based on a 1934 musical with music and lyrics by Cole Porter, the show tells the story of madcap antics aboard an ocean liner bound from New York to London. The cast and crew of 76 includes Jimmy Contakis playing Billy Crocker, a stowaway in love with an heiress who is engaged to someone else; Kate Glaser as Reno Sweeney; Jordyn Stone as Hope Harcourt; Jackson Sloan as Lord Evelyn Oakleigh and Ben Brewster as Moonface Martin.

" 'Anything Goes' is a good show for the kids to take on because it challenges them in some new ways that the last few musicals have not," said Jackie Comisar, director and choreographer for the production. "For starters, almost the entire cast has to tap dance.

"While I am lucky to have some very skilled dancers in the cast, this is definitely the first time many of them have donned a pair of tap shoes."

Comisar said "Anything Goes" is a period piece and satirical show that's challenged the 43-student cast to take on a "fast-paced, stylized type of comedy" while singing lyrics by Porter, whom she called "one of America's greatest treasures as a songwriter."

She said 18 UAHS students will contribute to the show as members of the pit orchestra and another 15 students will work in the technical crew.

"The audience will be treated to a lot of great dancing and music," Comisar said. "I have choreographed the show in the style of greats like Gene Kelly and Ginger Rogers.

"And while the title song, 'Anything Goes,' is sure to delight with 40 tappers, the show features a big revival number, 'Blow Gabriel Blow,' a beautiful ballroom style dance in 'De-lovely' and a spicy sort of paso doble, 'Gypsy in Me.' I love the variety in the score."

Reserved tickets can be purchased in advance at uavocalmusic.org.

Tickets also will be available for each show at the door, but can be bought only with cash or check payments.

UAHS Vocal Music interim director David Monseur said he's excited that the show will feature a live pit orchestra led by UAHS band director George Edge.

In addition to the 18 student members, the orchestra will include five "guest musicians," he said.

" 'Anything Goes' is a timeless Broadway musical classic," Monseur said. "The rich harmonies and lyric writing have become an integral part of our American culture.

" 'Anything Goes' is a beautiful blend of both music and dance. Our students have risen to the demands of challenging music and energetic dancing."

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