Thursday, December 6, 2012


In 1934, supremely talented composer Cole Porter opened another musical on Broadway, filled with gangsters and lovers, sailors and society folk. I wonder whether Mr. Porter had any idea how well his lively creation, “Anything Goes,” would stand the test of time. Seventy-eight years on, this show is still tapping its way into audience’s hearts.

Let it fill your holidays with singing, dancing and zany fun as the Ephrata Performing Arts Center opens “Anything Goes” tonight at the Sharadin Bigler Theatre. 

I saw a bit of a rehearsal for the show last weekend – I was fortunate enough to catch the cast completely filling the stage with exuberant singing and tap-dancing! I can’t wait to see the show in full flower on opening night!

“Anything Goes” has had two major revivals on Broadway, has been turned into feature films and has been performed in high schools and community theaters across the country for decades. It's clear why: The show is filled with fun characters, snappy dialogue, plenty of dancing and classic show tunes that beautifully display Porter’s gift for a turn of phrase.

Just look at the title tune: “In olden days a glimpse of stocking / was looked on as something shocking / but now, God knows / Anything goes …” and “Good authors, too, who once knew better words / Now only use four-letter words writing prose / Anything goes. …” Brilliant!

“Anything Goes” is the story of Billy Crocker, a stock broker who stows away on the S.S. American as it sails from New York to London. Crocker has fallen for Hope Harcourt, fiancĂ©e of Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. On the ship, Crocker will meet up with – and conspire with – such characters as evangelist-turned-singer Reno Sweeney and Public Enemy #13 Moonface Martin and his gal-pal Erma.

As audience members are taken on this journey of love, mistaken identity and other shenanigans, they’ll be treated to such classic songs as “I Get a Kick Out of You,” “All Through the Night,” “Blow, Gabriel, Blow” and “You’re the Top.”

And the cast, crew, directing team, creative team and volunteers of EPAC are “The Top,” too. You’ll surely want to check out their handiwork, now through Dec. 22 at the Sharadin Bigler Theatre. Call (717) 733-7966 for tickets, or visit the EPAC website

If you see the show tonight (Thursday, Dec. 6), the opening night of the musical, your ticket has an added bonus; it’s also your ticket to the after-party at the Hilltop Inn, 415 E. Main St., Ephrata.

We’d like to thank the sponsors of that party, the law offices of Russell, Krafft and Gruber, LLP. We’d also like to extend our gratitude to the show’s main sponsor, RE/MAX Associates of Lancaster, and our other sponsor, The Douple Agency of Ephrata. Single-performance sponsors C.E. Pontz & Sons and an anonymous EPAC angel are also much appreciated!

And, as always, EPAC would be lost without its season sponsors, Green Mountain Cyclery and Blue Ridge Communications.

A huge thanks, too, to the Sharadin Bigler Foundation for its huge yearly gift toward paying off the theater's renovations and mortgage.

Thank you to all of these companies, organizations and individuals for their support; EPAC couldn’t continue to fulfill its mission of presenting “theater that matters” without you.


Thank you, again, to all those wonderful angels -- both known and anonymous -- for making 128 donations, totaling a whopping $11,400 (!!), to EPAC through the countywide charity event, The Extraordinary Give, on Nov. 30. You have shown how much you love this theater, and how important you consider its work. The EPAC board and staff are grateful and humbled by your generosity.


Have you voted yet for your EPAC favorites in BroadwayWorld’s 2012 Central PA theater awards? If not, please go to the website and vote. There are EPAC nominees in nearly every category … let’s get those numbers up for all these talented members of EPAC's acting, directing and performing teams, who gave us the gift of such great theater throughout this season!


Reminder: Auditions for "Angels in America," parts 1 (“Millennium Approaches”) and 2 (“Perestroika”), will be held at 1 p.m. this coming Sunday (Dec. 9) at the Sharadin Bigler Theatre, home of EPAC. To register for that audition, sign up online here, or call Edward Fernandez at (717) 733-7966, extension 2.
Also, audition dates for casting the shows for the REST of the 2013 season have been announced. Ed Fernandez said you can start checking on the EPAC website NEXT WEEK for audition information and for an online signup form through which you can schedule an appointment (it's not online yet) for the January auditions.
Here are the dates:
Thursday, Jan. 17, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 18, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 19, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 20, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Shows to be cast in January are: “Avenue Q,” “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” “Guys and Dolls,” “The Glass Menagerie,” “Assassins” and “Fiddler on the Roof.”

-- Merv Wright