The annual spring performance of the Abu Dhabi Choral Group is underway and The National was given a backstage pass to one of the dress rehearsals. Staging a community production of Cole Porter’s nautical-themed Anything Goes is no small feat, with 35 performers, 10 band members and as many crew members working to ensure that the costumes and make-up are perfect, the lighting is spot-on and scene transitions smooth.
The 1934 musical is set on an ocean liner cruising from New York to London. Stowaway Billy Crocker disguises himself and tries to catch the eye of beautiful heiress Hope Harcourt, who is accompanied by her nobleman fiancé and her mother. The story is played out to the tunes of popular songs including I Get a Kick Out of You, It’s De-Lovely and the full-chorus number Blow, Gabriel, Blow.
Catch the final shows Thursday, May 10, and Friday, May 11, at 7pm at the Abu Dhabi Folklore Theatre, behind Al Wahda Mall, and keep in mind some interesting facts about the production: watch closely for the backstage crew, who are dressed as sailors to suit the theme; musical director Caroline Kelly is so busy playing three different instruments during the show – flute, saxophone and clarinet – she conducts much of the show with her foot; the actors who play Reno and Billy, Audrey Brinkley and Tyler Fordham, are married in real life; and the oldest character, Mrs Harcourt, is played by Bess Spencer, who at 24 is one of the youngest cast members.
Book tickets from Dh110 at www.platinumlist.net