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Heaven knows, Anything Goes

High School students staging Cole Porter classic

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By Shelley Arnusch

What: Anything Goes Ð 3 rd Annual Whistler High School Musical

Where: MY Millennium Place

When: May 12-14, 7:30 p.m.

Tickets: $9.99

Kids these days.

Just when you think you might have the slightest idea what theyÕre into, they go and throw you for a loop, like 1930s Ethel Merman.

Following on the heels of last yearÕs 1980s-set, pop-culture classic Footloose , and its predecessor, the 1950Õs-set Bye Bye Birdie , the crew behind this yearÕs high school musical is broadening horizons even further with Anything Goes , a 1920s-set madcap romp of mistaken identities and all-round misbehavinÕ on luxury liner the S.S. American.

All aboard is an ensemble of eclectic characters that includes a nightclub-singer/evangelist named Reno Sweeney (immortalized by Merman in the 1934 stage debut and in the 1936 screen version), a runaway heiress, a gangster disguised as a minister and a lovelorn rascal disguised as a gangster.

And linking everything together is the classic Cole Porter score, source of all-time favourites such as the title track, I Get A Kick Out Of You , ItÕs De-Lovely , YouÕre The Top, and LetÕs Misbehave.

Porter is enjoying somewhat of a revival with the release of the 2004 Irwin Winkler bio-pic De-Lovely starring Kevin Kline and Ashley Judd, though the filmÕs buzz has been less for the depiction of the composerÕs illustrious career and more for the depiction of his sexual orientation.

But the inspiration behind bringing a little Porter to Whistler this year had little to do with the film and a lot to do with a certain local teenagerÕs lifelong love of classic musicals.

That would be Whistler Secondary student Raine Playfair, a gamine strawberry blond who, by taking on the role of director/choreographer, is maintaining a mini-dynasty sister Brooke started by directing/choreographing last yearÕs Footloose .

Other constants include the return of consulting director Heather Paul of WhistlerÕs Short Skirt Theatre Co. and mom Karen Playfair as parent sponsor/producer.

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