‘Anything Goes’ finale headed to Bulber stage tonight

Published 12:30 pm Friday, March 8, 2024

A blowout finale performance of ACTS Theatre’s rendition of “Anything Goes” will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 8, in the F.G. Bulber Auditorium on McNeese State University’s Campus.

For the last two weekends, ACT Theatre has brought the story of  Reno Sweeny, played by Allison Schnake, her stowaway friend Billy Crocker, played by Cameron Fultz, and a whole cast of unforgettable characters as they travel from New York to England on the luxury ocean liner. The story they tell is one of love, status and class.

The musical was first produced in 1934 and features classic Broadway tunes like  “Anything Goes,” “All Through the Night” “Blow Gabriel Blow” “It’s De-Lovely” and “You’re The Top.”

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The finale performance is the result of a partnership between ACTS and Banners at McNeese State University – a non-profit organization housed under the wing of the McNeese Foundation to bring art and culture events to Southwest Louisiana.

ACTS performed several sold out shows at their home theater, but Randy Partin, assistant director, Banners, said that “Anything Goes” deserves a larger stage and audience. ACTS Theatre seats around 160 patrons, while Bulber auditorium seats 1,973 seats.

“One performance here can be the equivalent of 11 performances there,” he said. “It’s an opportunity for them to see what the potential of the show is as far as reach within the community.”

The cast of “Anything Goes” are looking forward to performing in Bulber Auditorium, he said.

“At the end of the show Sunday, everyone brought their own costumes and props over, and there was just a buzz. Everyone was just so excited to be in a suitable space.”

A standout part of the production is the set design. The story takes place on the deck of the S.S. American. Since August 2023, Diki Jine, Gale Materne and Stan Morris have dedicated their time to bridging the ship to life, complete with two stories, stairs and portholes. Partin said that the set was not designed to be moved and reassembled, so the act of moving the set has been impressive.

“The sacrifice of them taking it all apart and bringing it here for a single performance, that’s an incredible commitment on their part.”

The transition from the two stages should be simple for the actors, he said. The cast had six to eight weeks of rehearsal prior to opening night two weeks ago. Since the set is identical, the only change for the actors is more breathing space in the wings of the stage, and a downstairs greenspace with changing rooms.

This performance is part of Banners’ 2024 Cultural Season – series of 15 to 20 programs and events that take place in March and April. The season combines concerts, dance, theatre, lectures, film and talkbacks, providing a diverse selection of events for every demographic, said Brook Hannemann, director, Banners.

Tickets for the finale performance of “Anything Goes” are available online at banners.org.