The Senior Theater Workshop will open Cole Porter’s ‘Anything Goes’ 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11.
BY MIKE CAVALIERE | ASSOCIATE EDITOR
The set is up, costumes are on and the actors take their places. But no one knows where Skeeter is.
“Where’s Skeeter?” one of the actresses says.
“We’re waiting on Peter,” another chimes in.
“Peter or Skeeter?”
And then Peter bashfully emerges from behind a curtain, wearing sailor clothes. He’s not in full costume, he tells the rest of the Senior Theater Workshop, and he doesn’t want to look silly.
“Oh, don’t be a diva,” one performer jokes. And Director Cindy Simmons jumps onto the dog pile. “I’m surrounded by divas!” she laughs.
Since September, the workshop has been rehearsing for its production of Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes,” which opens 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11. But this is the first time that the entire group has been together to rehearse its second act on stage.
And so they’re still working out the kinks.
“Ok, you guys need to do this faster, and with more energy.” Simmons says, stopping a scene in the middle. “Let’s do it again.”
They start from the top.
“And you all should be excited,” Simmons cuts back in, directing her actors in the background. But they play excited too loudly, so she reminds them to pantomime.
Opening night is just a week away and it’s obvious now Simmons is feeling the tension — “complete and utter exhaustion,” she calls it. They’ve been rehearsing three hours at a time, twice a week now for months.
“But you know what?” she asks her actors. “That’s what rehearsals are for. You’ve got to learn.”
Simmons chose “Anything Goes” as the workshop’s winter production because it’s always been one of her favorite plays, she says, “a wonderful example of classic musical theater.” There are tap numbers, vocal solos and plenty of jokes to go around.
And the actors soak in every bit of it. Even when they forget a line or miss their cue, there’s an excitement about it — likely because they know they’re in good, albeit firm, hands.
“All right, that wasn’t bad!” Simmons tells her actors, clapping, after they finish a big music number. And then she retracts. “It wasn’t good — but it wasn’t bad.” And everybody laughs.
Between bits, some singers burst out into song and others dance a few steps. And they do it enthusiastically, smiling widely and honestly like children. They’re all older than 50, but in this theater, with these spotlights reflecting off the sequins in their dresses and the light in their eyes, they can’t help it.
They’re children again.
“Anything Goes” runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $15. Call 676-3375.
The Senior Theatre Workshop members that reside in Ormond Beach are listed as follows:
Cindy Simmons (director)
Jennifer Simmons (choreographer)