Posted on: November 13, 2012
ASU Gammage is an iconic landmark in the state of Arizona, and we are fortunate enough to have this Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece here in Tempe. Every season, Broadway shows that are touring the country stop here in the desert, where we have the opportunity to sit back for an evening , escape reality and get whisked away into another world. For the next five days, we all have the privilege of taking advantage of this.
Tonight, ANYTHING GOES opens here in Tempe at ASU Gammage. The musical runs from November 13–18. This Tony Award winning musical takes place aboard the ocean liner S.S. American. Nightclub singer Reno Sweeney is on her way from New York to London. Her friend, Billy Crocker, stowed away to be near his love, Hope Harcourt who just so happens to be engaged to the wealthy Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. Joining this love triangle on board the luxury liner are Public Enemy #13, Moonface Martin and his sidekick-in-crime Erma. With the help of some elaborate disguises, tap-dancing sailors and good old-fashioned blackmail, Reno and Martin join forces to help Billy in his quest to win Hope’s heart.
I was fortunate enough to briefly speak with Joyce Chittick, the actress playing Erma in this performance. Joyce was born in Maine and lived there until the 6th Grade, when her family moved to Reno, NV. Her first stage performance was in middle school in The Sound of Music. After high school, she was in touring production of Cats. She’s been touring with Anything Goes since October, during their performance in Cleveland. Joyce made it a point to tell me that the cast and crew for this show is phenomenal, making the experience of watching this musical that much better. Something I’ve always wondered is how a performer gets into character? Is it like a switch they can just turn on and off? For Joyce, it’s a transformation process. She pointed out that she is nothing like Erma, her character in Anything Goes. Once she puts on her costume and her wig, that’s when she becomes Erma. “You’re wearing the clothes, the clothes don’t wear you,” she said. She hopes to one day be involved with Roundabout Theatre Company in any capacity for one of their plays. As an experienced choreographer, she would love to be involved in this capacity as well.
This was the first time I had ever spoken with a real actress. I was nervous but Joyce was so friendly, willing to answer any question I had. She truly loves what she does, something a lot of us can’t say. I was lucky enough to get tickets to see her perform tonight and I hope I see all of you there with me.
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