Calaway Is Reno Sweeney in Musical Theatre West's Anything Goes

News   Calaway Is Reno Sweeney in Musical Theatre West's Anything Goes
 
Musical Theatre West will present the classic Cole Porter musical Anything Goes as the final production of its 53rd season.

Belle Calaway, seen on Broadway in Chicago and The Will Rogers Follies, will play Reno Sweeney, the role created on Broadway by Ethel Merman and later by Patti LuPone in the show's Lincoln Center Theater revival.

Calaway will be joined onstage by Kevin Earley as Billy Crocker and former "Moonlighting" TV star Allyce Beasley as Mrs. Evangeline Harcourt. The remainder of the cast features Suzanne Carlton, Sascha Childers, Lindi Duesenberg, Melissa Fahn, Gordon Goodman, John Massey Jr., Lesli Margherita, Lisaun Whittingham, and in the ensemble Venny Carranza, Jeffrey Deards Jr., Steven Donahue, Andre Evangelista, Arie Gonzalez, James Gruessing Jr., Lindsay McDonald, Daniel A. Smith, Tommy Stefanek, Karl Warden, Jessica Dawn Wilson and Norman Wilson.

Directed and choreographed by Dan Mojica, Anything Goes will begin performances July 8 at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center in Long Beach, CA. The limited engagement — with musical direction by Diane King Vann — will play through July 23. This production of Anything Goes will feature the revised book by Timothy Crouse and John Weidman that was penned for the Lincoln Center revival.

The creative team also includes Julie Ferrin (sound design), Heather Carlton (costume coordinator) and John E.D. Bass (lighting design).

Anything Goes, according to press notes, "is set on the Ocean liner 'S.S. American,' where a delightful girl, Hope Harcourt, secretly has the 'hots' for handsome stockbrocker’s assistant Billy Crocker although she is engaged to be married to Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. Going along on the ship are evangelist turned nightclub singer Reno Sweeney, Moonface Martin, Hope’s mother Evangeline and her old flame – Elisha Whitney, four 'Angelic' dancers not to mention the sexpot Erma!" Anything Goes — with a score by Porter and a book by Guy Bolton, P.G. Wodehouse, Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse — premiered on Broadway in 1934 with the legendary Ethel Merman in the role of Reno Sweeney. Patti LuPone portrayed the sassy nightclub singer in the 1987 Tony-winning revival, which featured an updated book by Timothy Crouse and John Weidman. Elaine Paige premiered the revised version in London, and she was later joined by Barrowman as Billy.

For her performance as Roxie Hart in the national tour of Chicago, Belle Calaway received a Helen Hayes Award nomination. She made her Broadway debut in The Will Rogers Follies and has also appeared in the national tours of Crazy for You, Woman of the Year, Applause and Bye, Bye Birdie. Calaway's regional credits include roles in South Pacific, I Do! I Do!, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Annie Get Your Gun, Can-Can, The Pajama Game and Dames at Sea.

The Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center is located at 6200 Atherton Street in Long Beach on the campus of California State University, Long Beach. Tickets are available by calling (562) 856-1999, ext. 4. For more information visit www.musical.org.

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