Putting together a musical production is no easy task.
Months of preparation are needed so that audience members can sit and enjoy watching the finished product on stage.
Fremont High School’s upcoming spring musical show, “Anything Goes,” began taking shape this past summer. It runs March 15-17 at Nell McPherson Theatre.
“My musical cast is my choir so I know who those kids are in the spring the year before so I can kind of think about who I have and what we can do,” said Mark Harman, FHS choir/musical director.
Harman makes the final decision on the musical by Halloween, and auditions take place after the choir’s winter concert in early December. Auditions and call-backs wrap up before Christmas break.
“We have a three-pronged audition process so all of our students in the choir have to sing in the audition. They all have to act in the audition and they all have to dance in the audition,” Harman said. “We want to see them do it all with the idea that it is an educational experience.”
Once the students return from Christmas break, they begin working on reading through the script, blocking and putting other pieces in place.
“Then we’re hitting the ground running,” Harman said.
The musical’s choral ensemble practices daily in choir class so initially they are not required to put in time outside of school. About 10-20 cast members spend time after school working on blocking, staging and memorization.
Saturdays are spent on building the set while the orchestra, which includes students as well as volunteers from the area, practices on Sunday afternoon.
“It’s a seven-day-a-week proposition starting at the beginning of January,” Harman said.
By mid-February, the whole 75-member cast starts coming together to rehearse. That’s in addition to about a dozen crew members and 20 musicians in the orchestra.
“It becomes literally a cast of hundreds when all is said and done of people that are behind the scenes working on the show,” Harman said. “I’ve got kids who come in to work on set on Saturdays who aren’t in the musical and aren’t even in the music program but are part of the drama program or part of some other things that just want a part. They’ll be 100 plus who will work on the show ultimately.”
“Anything Goes” takes place in 1933 on a cruise liner from New York City to London. Three stories are intertwined together during the musical.
Audience members will meet Reno Sweeney (played by Merrill Mitchell), an evangelist turned night club singer who is headed to London with her angels to be stars.
Sweeney runs into a friend, Billy Crocker (played by Jacob Friedrich) on the ship. Crocker, a Wall Street broker, stays on the boat after learning that his love interest, Hope Harcourt (played by Sarah Qualsett), is sailing to London to marry Sir Evelyn Oakleigh (played by Garret Drews) and he can’t let that happen.
The third story revolves around Mooface Martin (played by Josh Santora), public enemy No. 13 in America. He and his accomplices are trying to escape.
“It’s lots of laughs and lots of fun as it plays out,” Harman said. “It’s a really fun show and one that I think that people will really enjoy.”
Show times for “Anything Goes” are 7:30 p.m. March 15-17. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for students.
Harman recommends purchasing tickets in advance by calling the box office at 402-727-3066 or visiting www.fremonttigers.org.
“Anything Goes” Cast List
Elisha Whitney — Kameron Sorensen
Steward — Jeremy Neill
Reporter — (Charlie) Logan Sacco
Cameraman — Wyatt Adams
Sir Evelyn Oakleigh — Garret Drews
Mrs. Wadsworth T. Harcourt — Katie Marchese
Hope Harcourt — Sarah Qualsett
Bishop Henry T. Dobson — Drew Pennington
Reno Sweeny — Merrill Mitchell
Billy Crocker — Jacob Friedrich
Moonface Martin — Josh Santora
Ching — Jackson Brettmann
Ling — Jameson Brettmann
Purser — David Voss
Bonnie — Levi Russell
Captain — Spencer Blocker
Chastity — Abby Johnson
Purity — Karla Zavala
Virtue — Haley Mendez
Charity — Autumn Johnson
Anything Goes: Maggie Bentley, John Elliott, Lauren Glowacki, Juan Diaz, Caitlin McEntee, Riley Wiese, Jaylen Semrad, Josh Bearden, Sydney Thurlow, Hector Villagomez, Rachel Watson, Bergan Hofer, Caroline Wolfe, Sijin Hansen.
Heaven Hop: Caitlin McEntee, Juan Diaz, Sydney Thurlow, Austin Everitt, Rachel Watson, Josh Bearden, Caroline Wolfe, Bergan Hofer.
Let’s Step Out: Lauren Glowacki, Logan Martinez, Caitlin McEntee, Riley Wiese, Jaylen Semrad, Juan Diaz, Emma Storms, Hector Villagomez, Miah Vakiner, John Elliott, Rachel Watson, Sijin Hansen, Caroline Wolfe, Spencer Blocker.