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Four County Players' 'Anything Goes' leaves stresses ashore

If you’ve had a rough week, a collection of tap-dancing numbers, memorable tunes and vintage visuals may be just the ticket.

Four County Players is opening its production of “Anything Goes,” packed with music and lyrics by Cole Porter, on Friday evening in its Mainstage space in Barboursville, and audience members who’d like to stow away to give stress the slip are more than welcome. Keeping track of the onboard romances and trying to figure out who’ll end up with whom is about as tense as it gets.

“First of all, it’s very light,” said director and choreographer Geri Carlson Sauls. “It’s fun to escape into a happy place.”

The original book is by P.G. Wodehouse and Guy Bolton and Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. The Four County team will be using the updated book by Timothy Crouse and John Weidman.

The cast includes Mariko Schaper Doktor as Reno Sweeney, Gary Warwick White as Billy Crocker, Alex Mitchell as Hope Harcourt, Edward Warwick White as Lord Evelyn Oakley, Dan Stern as Moonface Martin, Aly Brookland as Erma, Tim Carlson as Elisha Whitney, Geri Schirmer as Evangeline Harcourt, Ian Amos as Spit, Elena Witt as Dippy, John Baker as the Ship’s Captain and Sam Carannante as the Ship’s Purser.

Playing Reno’s Angels are Stephanie Kowalczyk as Purity, Jennifer Schindler as Chastity, Talia Santia as Charity, Haley Griffith as Virtue and Kristen Scott Bell as Prudence.

The Sailor Quartet includes Ian Amos, Amelia Camacho, Tres Wells and Elena Witt.

The ensemble is packed with featured dancers and players in supporting roles; look for Steve Bliss, Eric Bryant, Samantha Cadieux, Amelia Camacho, Ella Caplin, Megan Ellis, Stephanie Finn, Kristen Gass, Kyle LaTorre, Veronica Schoenster, Annie Way and Tres Wells.

“We’re blessed in this area with so much talent,” Sauls said. “Practically anyone in the ensemble could’ve taken the principal roles as well.”

Each member of the cast is endearing, Sauls said, adding that “there’s not really a character to dislike. There’s not a villain.”

There’s even a character played by a puppet: Evangeline Harcourt’s tiny dog.

Together, they’ll be diving into songs that have kept toes tapping for generations, including “You’re the Top,” “I Get a Kick Out of You,” “Friendship” and, of course, “Anything Goes.”

Porter’s wit and way with words remain fresh after nine decades.

“The rhymes he comes up with amaze me sometimes,” Sauls said.

Debbie Owen serves as production stage manager, Tres Wells and Hannah Vidaver are producers, Katie Hutchins is assistant stage manager and John Wharton is assistant director. Amy Goffman and Tricia Emlet are costume designers, Sarah Burstock is hair and makeup designer, Sophi Schlicht is wardrobe manager, Dan Feigert is scenic designer, Eric Rodas is lead carpenter, Mary Speed is scenic painter, Kim Faulkinburry is lighting designer, David Hutchins is sound designer and engineer and Pam Edelman and Hannah Vidaver are properties and set dressing designers. Gary Warwick White is production manager, Devynn Thomas is assistant production manager and Nick Edelman is shop and build supervisor.

“The costumes are stunning. Our costumers are very cognizant of the fact that the action is in the ‘30s,” Sauls said. “And we have a ship on our stage.”

The principal players bring singing, dancing and acting skills to their numbers, and the director said to keep an eye out for Stern’s version of “Be Like the Bluebird.”

The musical’s dancing and slapstick elements may appeal to youngsters, but the show does carry a parental advisory. Sauls said very young children might get bored between dance numbers, but “parents know their kids,” she said. The humor can be subtle, and young children aren’t going to get a lot of the saucy innuendoes.

There also will be gunshot sound effects to accompany a skeet-shooting contest that happens offstage. “No one gets shot,” Sauls said.

“Anything Goes” runs weekends through March 31, with performances at 8 p.m. Friday, 8 p.m. Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Sundays. If you have company on hand during Easter weekend, Sauls said the show can help you entertain family members and houseguests.

Before heading to the theater, take a look at the theater’s COVID-19 protocols online at

Tickets are $20; they’re $18 for seniors and students and $16 for ages 12 and younger. All Friday-night tickets are $10. For tickets and information, go to or call (540) 832-5355.


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