Musical cast opens up about winter musical

Michel Arroyo

“It’s delightful, it’s delicious, it’s De-lovely!”

What is being described?

Why, Anything Goes!

This 1934 comedic and romantic musical was staged by Boone students in December with a Boone alumnus directing.

The musical featured senior Bryce Herzner as Billy Crocker, senior McKayla Major as Hope Harcourt, senior Casey Beusterein as Reno Sweeney, and junior Robert Saner as Lord Evelyn Oakleigh.

The story all starts when singer and evangelist Reno Sweeney goes on board the S.S. American to go from New York to England. It just so happens that her bud, Billy Crocker, has stowed away on the very same ship to be close to a girl he fell in love with, Hope Harcourt. Unfortunately, Harcourt is engaged to the very rich, very British Lord Evelyn Oakleigh.

The Rebellion interviewed actors Herzner, Beusterein, and Vance Jones who played drunk, old man Eli Whitney.

Q – Was there a part you were trying to go for or were you willing to accept any role?

Vance: I was up for anything! It’s good to be open about roles.

Bryce: The role I mainly wanted was the one I luckily got. Although I would’ve accepted any role because I would just want to be part of the show.

Casey: I was auditioning for Reno, but I’m always willing to accept any role.

Q – How is the character like you?

Vance: Eli had his eyes set on one person that he was in love with and would do anything for, and I really relate to that.

Bryce: I relate to the character’s humor the most because the way that he uses it is to bring light to the situation, especially to get out of (it).

Casey: I think this character is very much like me. She’s very independent and opinionated, and also a performer.

Q – Is it easier to play your character or be yourself on stage?

Vance: It’s definitely easier to play someone else. Judgement passes right over you when you’re someone else.

Bryce: I’ve had many challenges throughout my theatre experience. I played Donkey in “Shrek the Musical” and then the dentist in “Little Shop of Horrors,” which are polar opposites. It’s a challenge, but something that helps you learn.

Casey: I’d say being myself, because I’m able to give more genuine emotion.

Q – What is it about the character that you love?

Vance: I loved his energy! He’s an old man but he still acts like a kid.

Bryce: The thing I love most about my character was everything I got to do. I got to dress up and sing as an old woman, I got to dance a lot which is my favorite part about musical theatre. Then all the songs I had the chance to sing.

Casey: What I love most about Reno is the energy she has, and the strong independence she has despite being a woman in the 1930’s.

Q – What was the hardest thing about playing the character?

Vance: 100% the “gruff old man” voice.

Bryce: The hardest thing about playing that character was the tap dancing. In most adaptations, my character is off stage during the number “Anything Goes,” but the director, Sam Johnson, wanted me to tap dance because it was different. So I learned how just for the show.

Casey: The hardest part was trying to convey all the attitude and humor she has.

Q – What makes a good scene for a character?

Vance: Eli and Evangeline were absolutely comic relief, so whenever I was on stage, there was a guaranteed laugh.

Bryce: Passion and dedication. You can’t really have a good performance if you don’t have the dedication because if you don’t care, there’s no reason to be there. You have to have passion for what you do, and you have to be dedicated so you don’t let the director, the crew, or yourself.

Casey: A good scene for me has to have good timing, and also a good balance of emotions.