Cast members share thoughts on Cole Porter production
by Logan Beck
A few cast members from Temple Theater’s production of Anything Goes, directed by Peter Reynolds and choreographedshared their experiences portraying their iconic roles from one of Broadway’s most beloved Golden Age musicals.
Adam Mandala (Moonface Martin), Mary Guarnieri (Erma) and Joel Chroscinski (Elisha Whitney) have enjoyed collaborating with each other and the other actors in the production, many of which they have grown with over the last few years.
Q: How do you relate to your character?
Guarnieri: Erma is just over-the-top, spunky, gritty, sexy, and non-apologetic about it. She is a firecracker of energy and even though she’s got a no-nonsense attitude she also has a big heart with a whole lot of passion. She’s very open about who she is, her sexuality and she has no problems laughing at or sticking up for herself. It’s honestly so much fun to play her because she’s like this hybrid of the quirky comedy of Lucille Ball and fierce sex appeal of Marilyn Monroe.
Q: What makes Anything Goes a must-see for Temple students?
Chroscinski: It's a ton of fun! It's high energy, high class comedy which we don't get to see very often. I think shows like this are incredibly important today because with all the negativity and chaos that surround the busy lives we lead, it's nice to be reminded that there are some truly beautiful, pure forms of entertainment left in the world.
Q: What makes your role in this show different from any other role you've portrayed?
Mandala: This by far the craziest role I have ever played! I've learned that comedies like this are almost like choreography; the timing of your lines, your articulation, and the energy you back it up with are the ingredients you need to receive the audience's attention and laughter. Moon has so many jokes and witty banter that I really need to be on my game throughout the entire show; I've really had to build up my stamina as a performer.
Q: What is your favorite song or scene from the show?
Guarnieri: “Gypsy in Me” it’s a number sung by Patrick Murray who plays Lord Evelyn, and it is an absolute riot. I must have seen it 39 times and it still leaves has me laughing aloud. I don’t want to give anything away but there’s a lot of gyrating hips, growling, and a nice tango section.
Q: What's it like collaborating with your cast mates?
Chroscinski: They're wonderful!! There are so many talented folks in this cast, and the show is cast beautifully. Every single person has been an inspiration to watch make choices, and grow as their character. It's also such a delight getting to play opposite my professor, Donna Snow. I've been lucky enough to perform in two main stages with professors during my time at Temple and it is amazing how the barrier of student/professor seems to melt away and we are simply castmates. That relationship lends itself to having so much fun with your mentors on stage and I've learned so much about my own acting from acting in scenes with professionals. Just being on stage with Donna makes me want to constantly be better.
Q: How does it feel to be putting on such a classic, well-known production?
Mandala: I have grown such a better appreciation for Golden Age musicals after this show. Cole Porter is a genius composer and I feel honored to be in one of his musicals. I hope to follow the legacy of all the greats that have played this part before me.
Performances Temple Theaters' Anything Goes continue Wednesday, October 7 through Sunday, October 11 at the Tomlinson Theater. Tickets available online.