Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Anything Goes - meet cast member Tori Garcia

Tell us about your character?
Hope is such an interesting character to play; she has so many different sides to her! Around her fiancé and mother, she's reserved and tends to keep to herself. However, when she's with Billy, she's flirtatious and fun and allows herself to "let loose". It's fun to bring her character to life from the script to the stage.

What were some of the challenges for you in working on this show?
One of the first challenges brought to light was the difference in age. As the youngest, I was worried about developing relationships within the cast. However, I found myself so comfortable with all of my scene partners and cast-mates. This is one of the most inclusive and friendly groups I've ever worked with in theatre, and I'm loving the rehearsal process so far. 

What do you hope audiences will take away from Anything Goes?
Follow your heart! I don't want to give anything away, but Hope is definitely a character who follows her heart and does what she feels is best. 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Anything Goes - meet cast member Dick Reed

Tell us about your character.
Elisha Whitney, like Eli Whitney - inventor of the Cotton Gin, likes his gin.  Though in his case it comes from a bottle.  He's an arrogant, pompous "older" executive who needs help from an indispensable assistant (Billy Crocker), and who enjoys women and letting down what little hair he has.  Talk about typecasting!  I don't even know why they made me audition for the role.

What was a challenge you faced while working on this show?
The dialogue was pretty easy to learn as most lines flow from the scenes, which helps with memorization.  The toughest dialogue to learn is that rife with non sequiturs, where lines have no relation to what was said immediately before.  For this role the hardest challenge was being a happy drunk in several brief scenes.  With no build up to ease into it, I had to come on stage already ripped and then rock the physicality and hammer the punch line - in character.  That has been the hardest aspect of this role.  Fortunately, I'm retired and have spent weeks and weeks rehearsing at home.

What do you hope the audience takes away from Anything Goes?
There is real joy in Anything Goes, as well as belly laughs.  And the enjoyment that comes from seeing the marvelous large-cast tap dancing choreography that is featured in this show is very rarely felt.  As a story, Anything Goes is silly and ridiculous.  As a musical, however, it's almost without peer.  Finally, as performed by a cast that is incredibly talented from top to bottom, Anything Goes truly stands out in the DMV Community Theatre scene.

Anything Goes - meet cast member Allie Cesena

Tell us about your character.
I play the character of Mrs. Wadsworth T. Harcourt in LTA’s production of Anything Goes. She is a woman of wealth and stature, and she has no problem letting everyone know who’s in charge. Her traveling companions include her daughter, Hope, and Hope’s fiancĂ©, Evelyn. Both are at “Maters” beck and call–even when forced to go against what they truly want. Never try to say no to Mrs. Harcourt; she is a force to be reckoned with.

What did you find challenging about this show?
Something I found challenging about this piece was my character and how she interacts with the rest of the cast. I really had to step out of the box and dig deep to find my connection with her. Playing a character so much older than I am, and with such a commanding presence, has really helped me grow as an actor. I have loved the journey I’ve been on–really figuring out what makes this character work and how to bring her to life. This is one challenge I have absolutely enjoyed conquering. There are furs and hats involved, so what’s not to love!

What do you hope the audience takes away from Anything Goes?
I hope the audience leaves with smiles, laughter and some Cole Porter songs in their heads! As an actor, knowing the audience joined you on this fun-loving journey and enjoyed themselves is the ultimate compliment. 

Anything Goes - meet cast member Marshall Cesena

Tell us about your character.
Billy Crocker is a self-proclaimed “broken down broker." He’s the general manger for Elisha J. Whitney, a Wall Street banker who “hires and fires Billy every eight minutes.” Despite his shaky job security, he’s a very determined character. While meeting his boss in port to deliver his passport prior to a transatlantic cruise, Billy runs into Hope Harcourt, a woman with whom he instantly fell head-over-heels in love after meeting her at a party a few months prior. In order to pursue Hope, who is now engaged to a stuffy English nobleman, Billy stows away on the ship and spends the trip trying to woo her while also avoiding the ship’s officers, including a particularly persistent purser. Billy is fun-loving and agile. He’s quick-thinking, a skill he learned working for his fickle and demanding boss. His determination to “get the girl” through whatever antics necessary makes him an endearing and lovable character.

What were some of the challenges for you in working on this piece?
Billy is always “on.” He’s not the type of character who can casually stand on stage; he is always poised for action. He requires a lot of energy! Also, he has a LOT of lines. A big thank you to Allie, my wife, for countless kitchen table read-throughs!

What do you hope the audience will take away from this show?
Cole Porter was a brilliant composer and lyricist - I hope to share his music with a broad audience.  And it's a really fun show!  If the audience goes home signing the songs (and maybe dancing a little, too), we've done our job!