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GALLERY Students perform High School musical ‘Anything Goes’

Ziad+Ben-Gacem+%28%E2%80%9925%29+speaks+to+Clarisa+Gomez+Rodriguez+%28%E2%80%9924%29+in+the+show%E2%80%99s+opening+scene+during+dress+rehearsal+Nov.+13.+Rodriguez+sang+the+first+song+of+the+musical%2C+%E2%80%9CI+Get+a+Kick+Out+of+You.%E2%80%9D
Laila Taraporevala
Ziad Ben-Gacem (’25) speaks to Clarisa Gomez Rodriguez (’24) in the show’s opening scene during dress rehearsal Nov. 13. Rodriguez sang the first song of the musical, “I Get a Kick Out of You.”

The Performing Arts Department put on the fall musical “Anything Goes” Nov. 16-18. Set on the S.S. American, a boat traveling from New York to London in 1934, “Anything Goes” follows a combination of romantic and comedic storylines.
Ziad Ben-Gacem (’25) played Billy Crocker, a hopeless young man who falls in love with Hope Harcourt, played by Eleanor Ilyas (’24). Crocker ends up on the boat trying to find a way to marry her.
The story grows complicated as Harcourt is engaged to Lord Evelyn Oakleigh, played by Danny Joseph (’26), though she can’t stop thinking about a life with Billy Crocker. Oakleigh inspired laughter and applause as an old British man trying to figure out how everything works in America and please his fiance.
Famous singer Reno Sweeney played by Clarisa Gomez Rodriguez (’24) works to help Billy Crocker with his romantic ambitions after he rejects her. To complicate things further, criminal Moonface Martin, played by Lou Michelson (’24) and his sidekick Erma, played by Kaila Brooks (’24), are attempting an escape to London to get away from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Ziad Ben-Gacem (’25) speaks to Clarisa Gomez Rodriguez (’24) in the show’s opening scene during dress rehearsal Nov. 13. Rodriguez sang the first song of the musical, “I Get a Kick Out of You.” (Laila Taraporevala)
Eleanor Ilyas (’24) holds onto Danny Joseph (’26) in the first big ensemble song of Act One. Joseph said it took him a while to figure out his role.
“Originally, I had to push to figure out my character,” Joseph said. “However, now I have come to clutch with my character.” (Laila Taraporevala)
Eleanor Ilyas (’24) listens to Ziad Ben-Gacem (’25) as he sings to her Nov. 13. Ilyas said she and Ben-Gacem have worked together on many times.
“Working with Ziad is great because I’ve worked with him since I was in sixth grade, and he was in fifth grade,” Ilyas said. “We’ve been in musicals together for years.” (Laila Taraporevala)
Clarisa Gomez Rodriguez (’24) and Lou Michelson (’24) perform their duet “Friendship” together. Michelson said playing a different gendered character in the musical was a new experience.
“I’m playing a man in the musical, which is very different from what I normally do,” Michelson said. “It’s exciting because I’m stepping into a new version of myself I didn’t know existed.” (Laila Taraporevala)
Ziad Ben-Gacem (’25) leads Eleanor Ilyas (’24) across the stage. Ilyas said that the cast bonded really well.
“I think the cast is together this year,” Ilyas said. “Everything has gone smoothly so far.” (Laila Taraporevala)
Audrey Turner (’24) as Evangeline Harcourt and Antonio Reis (’25) as Elisha J. Whitney speak to one another. Turner said she and Reis work well together due to experience.
“Antonio is a great person to act off of,” Turner said. “We’ve worked together on many musicals, and it’s been great to have someone so reliable that I can count on with my scenes.” (Laila Taraporevala)
Ziad Ben-Gacem (’25) takes a ticket from Kaila Brooks (’24) while Lou Michelson (’24) watches. (Laila Taraporevala)
Danny Joseph (’26) fixes his jacket while Clarisa Gomez-Rodriguez (’24) writes him a note. Gomez-Rodriguez’s character required an extensive vocal range, and Gomez-Rodriguez said she has previous experience with performing arts.
“I’ve been singing ever since I was young, and it’s my way of expressing myself,” Rodriguez said. (Laila Taraporevala)
Ziad Ben-Gacem (’25) speaks to Clarisa Gomez Rodriguez (’24) in the show’s opening scene during dress rehearsal Nov. 13. Rodriguez sang the first song of the musical, “I Get a Kick Out of You.” (Laila Taraporevala)

This story was originally published on The Standard on November 27, 2023.

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