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Anything Goes: Youth Edition opening night October 27

Reagan Kern and Baker Anderson. Submitted

Duluth Playhouse will launch its Youth Theatre season with Anything Goes: Youth Edition, running October 27-29, 2023 at the NorShor Theatre.

Starring 29 of the most talented young performers from the Twin Ports area, this wacky shipboard farce will take audiences on a voyage of madcap characters, witty banter, brilliant dancing, and an iconic score by Cole Porter.

Anything Goes: Youth Edition is a one-hour adaptation of one of Broadway’s favorite musical comedies. Set aboard the luxurious ocean liner S.S. American, Billy Crocker (Baker Anderson; Newsies, Into the Woods) has stowed away in hopes of rekindling his romance with the wealthy debutante, Hope Harcourt (Lyra Tennis Luoma). Billy's dreams are dashed when he discovers that Hope's mother, Evangeline Harcourt (Clare Boyle, The Addams Family), enthusiastically approves of Hope's engagement to the uptight Englishman, Lord Evelyn Oakleigh (Jase Matuszak).

Also among the ship’s passengers is Reno Sweeney (Reagan Kern, The SpongeBob Musical, Footloose) an evangelist-turned-nightclub singer, accompanied by her delightful troupe of "angelic" showgirls. When Reno serendipitously encounters her old friend Billy, he convinces her to help him win Hope’s heart.

Ultimately, Anything Goes celebrates the triumph of love over societal norms and conventions, as well as the power of friendship to conquer adversity. Filled with memorable songs by the legendary Cole Porter, including "You're the Top," "I Get a Kick Out of You," "Friendship," and the titular "Anything Goes," this timeless musical is a joyful romp filled with laughter, romance, and memorable tunes that continue to delight audiences of all ages.

Notes: Director and choreographer Courtney Laine Self will be leaving her position as Director of Education of Youth Programming this fall, making Anything Goes her final show at Duluth Playhouse. “Re-imagining the curriculum of the Education Department, teaching classes, starting the inaugural class of Show Study, choreographing Into the Woods on the Main Stage, running a fun-filled summer of camps, and directing/choreographing both intensives this summer (Newsies and Addams forever!) have all been incredible experiences," she said. "I am so thankful to have been welcomed into this wonderful community of artists and storytellers.”

Duluth Playhouse plans to announce a new Director of Education soon, ensuring the continued success of the Youth Theatre program, which allows young people to put their skills into action while connecting with their peers and growing as artists.