RBHS annual musical debuts tonight
The RBHS annual musical will take place from Thursday to Sunday, showtimes each day from 7-9 pm except on Sunday from 3-5pm. “Anything Goes” is a 1934 musical composed by Cole Porter who was born into a wealthy family and is known to bring sophistication and elegance to the stage. The RBHS cast and crew have prepared for the show since September by practicing before, during and after school to rehearse and improve the set. From erecting a massive beach themed balcony scene to memorizing strings of lines, nearly two months of preparation have gone into a product with a total of 8 hours of showtime. Because of all the extra effort he and his students have put in, Director Mike Pierson really hopes the audience shows up and enjoys themselves.
“It’s nice to give kids the chance to shine in front of an audience. But it’s also nice for the audience to forget their troubles for a night and watch high school students put on really good productions that we can be proud of.”
In the recent past, RBHS musicals took on more well known Disney shows such as the “Little Mermaid” and the “Princess and the Pea.” “Anything Goes,” Pierson said, is different from this usual trend and has required more diverse dancing forms.
“We’ve done more modern musicals in recent pasts and we haven’t done much of this older style,” Pierson said. “Obviously we want people to laugh and enjoy themselves, but I also want my students to learn skills like tap dancing which we haven’t in any of their other production.”
Junior Michael Bledsoe plays a supporting role in the musical and is excited to perform in front of such a large audience. Involved in acting and theatrical clubs and classes, he hopes to portray his scenes comically and enunciate clearly.
“I play the Bishop Henry T Dopson and I get dragged off stage in the first act. So afterwards I go around backstage to help out,” Bledsoe said. “My goal is whenever I’m on stage I want the audience to be able to understand and hear me, so I’m going to be doing [vocal] warmups.”
Along with Bledsoe, senior Polina Kopeikin also performs on the “Anything Goes” musical. For her, the experience is a team production that she feels brings her closer to other performing students.
“I loved working on [the musical] because of how excited everyone was to work together on this show,” Kopeikin said. “Connecting with your fellow actors is very important on the set, and I really enjoyed doing that with these people because they’re all a delight!”
The production and preparation of the musical sets proved to be no small task. Junior Harold Johnson worked on the set, specifically building the staircase, with theater tech teacher Dee Crosby.
“It was so enjoyable building the set, there’s a general camaraderie between everyone,” Johnson said. “It’s like an assembly line, and Mr. Crosby is one of the greatest teachers I have ever had. Oh my God it has been so much fun.”
Freshman Bethany Eppinger has never attended a RBHS musical production and has high hopes for “Anything Goes.” Not only does she have friends on stage, she has heard a lot from her friends who will be in the pit and offstage in charge of setting the scene and enchanting the mood with melody.
“I’m excited to see the whole thing put together,” Eppinger said.
While time consuming, Pierson said he truly enjoys putting on a production every year. From building the set and critiquing the rehearsals, he said the most gratifying part of the experience is watching the students collaborate and act with courage.
“I would say that this years cast has collectively less theatrical experience than other groups. But they’ve worked really hard, they’ve had their lines memorized when they were supposed to and they’ve been really attentive at rehearsals,” Pierson said, “ So even though they may have less experience, I think it’s gone really well.