Northeast Times

Don’t miss ‘Anything Goes’ at the Jardel Rec Center

So much drama: Xan­der Ri­oh (left) and Becky Crunk (right) re­hearse a scene from ‘Any­thing Goes’ with the Jar­del Drama Theatre Com­pany, based at Jar­del Re­cre­ation Cen­ter. MARIA POUCH­NIKOVA / TIMES PHOTO

As the Jar­del Drama theat­er com­pany pre­pares for three week­end per­form­ances of Any­thing Goes, dir­ect­or Rachel Hryn­czyszyn thinks the cast has the right mix of com­munity theat­er vet­er­ans and new­comers.

“We have a good, re­spons­ive group,” she said. “We have some people who’ve been do­ing theat­er for years. For oth­ers, it’s their first for­ay. Every­body learns from each oth­er.”

Hryn­czyszyn got her start in theat­er as a young­ster with the Theatre Com­pany of Port Rich­mond. She later earned an Eng­lish/theat­er de­gree from Temple and a mas­ter’s in theat­er/Eng­lish edu­ca­tion from New York Uni­versity. The dir­ect­or, who works full-time as a paralegal, is a former re­cre­ation lead­er at Jar­del, loc­ated on Cottman Av­en­ue in Burholme. She’s dir­ec­ted chil­dren’s pro­duc­tions of Honk! Jr. and Alice in Won­der­land Jr. at Jar­del, along with an adult pro­duc­tion of Side by Side.

As for the cur­rent pro­duc­tion, Any­thing Goes was writ­ten in the early 1930s. It’s seen many re­viv­als and re­vi­sions in the last eight dec­ades.

Jar­del Drama is pro­du­cing the early 1960s re­viv­al. The show fol­lows Billy Crock­er, Reno Sweeney and oth­ers on their jour­ney aboard the S.S. Amer­ic­an. It fea­tures clas­sic Cole Port­er songs such as It’s De­Lovely, Any­thing Goes and Blow, Gab­ri­el.

Any­thing Goes is, first and fore­most, a fun show,” Hryn­czyszyn said. “There are songs that people know, and it’s a com­edy that people can en­joy.”

Cho­reo­graph­er Dav­id Per­sh­ica brings a dance re­sume that in­cludes Broad­way cred­its, four na­tion­al tours and shows in Las Ve­gas and Lon­don. Per­sh­ica said the theat­er com­pany of­fers per­formers the chance to play ap­peal­ing Broad­way roles. Com­munity mem­bers can also en­joy a good show at an af­ford­able price.

“This is a very im­port­ant, vi­able form of theat­er,” he said.

Per­sh­ica cred­its cast mem­bers with re­hears­ing on their own and im­prov­ing their act­ing, vo­cal and dance skills.

“They’re so hungry and are soak­ing it all in. They’ve been totally game and put­ting in so much time and ef­fort,” he said. “Every­body is gen­er­ous in help­ing each oth­er out and mak­ing each oth­er look good.”

The show fea­tures a lot of tap dan­cing. Per­sh­ica calls it a “mad­cap” show and “Vaudeville-esque.”

“It’s all fun, fun, fun and over-the-top char­ac­ters,” he said. “We want them to be as crazy and silly as they want to be.”

Mu­sic­al dir­ect­or Adam Blaine is only 20, but he has 15 years ex­per­i­ence singing and play­ing the pi­ano, bag­pipes and trum­pet. Blaine cred­its Hryn­czyszyn and Per­sh­ica with bring­ing their ex­pert­ise to the pro­duc­tion and adds that the act­ing skills of the cast are “im­press­ive.”

“The show is com­ing along really well. Every­body has put in a lot of work and a lot of hours,” he said.

Chelsea Drumel plays Hope Har­court in the show. She played a couple of lead­ing roles in mu­sic­als at Ne­sham­iny High School and earned a theat­er de­gree from Temple in 2012. She’s per­formed with the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jer­sey and has a role in the up­com­ing Ad­rienne Theat­er pro­duc­tion of No Re­ser­va­tions.

Drumel likes Any­thing Goes be­cause it’s a “feel-good” show with a happy end­ing.

“It’s a light-hearted, com­pel­ling, en­ter­tain­ing mu­sic­al,” she said. “The show is a great one to do. It’s a de­light to be a part of it. To be in a show from the ‘30s that is full of joy and cel­eb­ra­tion is very re­fresh­ing.”

Drumel said cast and crew mem­bers have been friendly and wel­com­ing to one an­oth­er, mak­ing for com­fort­able re­hears­als.

“It’s a won­der­ful team,” she said. “Every­body is vo­lun­teer­ing their time. They work 9 to 5, then come to re­hears­al from 7 to 9. It’s a col­lab­or­at­ive ef­fort that is re­fresh­ing and fun.”

Jar­del Drama will present Any­thing Goes on Fri­day and Sat­urday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. at Jar­del Re­cre­ation Cen­ter, at 1500 Cottman Ave. Tick­ets cost $10. They will be avail­able at the door or in ad­vance by call­ing Jar­del at 215-685-0596 or writ­ing to jar­del­drama@gmail.com. More in­form­a­tion on the club is avail­able at jar­del­drama.wix.com/jar­del­drama or on the Jar­del Drama page on Face­book. ••

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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