‘Anything Goes’ hits RFHS stage Dec. 1

By Sarah Nigbor
Posted 11/23/23

RIVER FALLS – This fall’s River Falls High School musical selection is a show-stopping, action-packed, dance-filled treat sure to knock your socks off.

“Anything Goes” …

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‘Anything Goes’ hits RFHS stage Dec. 1


RIVER FALLS – This fall’s River Falls High School musical selection is a show-stopping, action-packed, dance-filled treat sure to knock your socks off.

“Anything Goes” will debut at 7 p.m. Dec. 1 in the River Falls High School auditorium. This Golden Age, jazzy musical features 46 actors, 35 crew members and 10-12 pit band students.

“’Anything Goes’ has multiple storylines that are happening at one time on the SS American to England,” said Director Sarah Plum. “There are three to four different love stories that are all intertwined, gangsters who try to steal everyone’s money. It’s a fun story. There’s a lot to follow, but it’s not complex.”

The show includes a lot of dancing as Reno Sweeney, an evangelist performer/nightclub singer seeks to bring people to the Lord aboard the ship, while her love interest Billy sneaks aboard the ship after meeting a beautiful girl named Hope on a taxi. He tries to shake Reno with the help of other passengers in order to pursue Hope, who is engaged to a stuffy British aristocrat.

“One thing that is really cools is that our pit is onstage and very involved in the show,” Plum said. “They are acting like a 1930s Big Band on the ship.”

Senior Ava Vik, who plays Reno’s Angel Charity and dance captain, has been dancing competitively for 15 years in jazz and tap, so she relishes the chance to perform in this production.

“I do like how dance heavy it is,” she said. “’Newsies’ was pretty dance heavy too.”

Senior Megan Odegard, who plays Erma, has only danced in school musicals, but learned how to tap for the audition.

“Our instructor teaches us really well, so it’s easy to catch on,” Odegard said. “I learned how to tap for the audition. Once you learn a few basic steps, it’s not that hard to learn.”

Junior Dylan Conrad, who plays Moon Face Martin, has had fun learning how to dance, though it doesn’t come as naturally to him as it does to Vik, he said.
“I have worked with (the instructor) through the musicals,” Conrad said. “I’d say that the tapping was pretty difficult for me, but the more you do it, the easier it becomes. The angels have their own solo dance parts. It looks absolutely insane. I’m so glad I don’t have to do that.”

Plum said the district chose “Anything Goes” because it gives students a well-rounded experience.

“We try to pick a variety,” Plum said. “This is the heaviest dance show you guys have done. We have phenomenal dancers this year.”

The cast started off rehearsals in July with a week-long “boot camp.” Starting at the end of September, music rehearsals began. In October, the crew began rehearsing in earnest 15 hours per week.

While Vik likes the production for its heavy focus on dance, Odegard and Conrad enjoy other aspects of the show just as much.

“I like how there’s a balance of ensemble and lead scenes, because I feel like this show heavily involves all roles,” Odegard said. “Other shows didn’t do that as much and everyone has an opportunity to show themselves on stage.”

Conrad spoke of the nonstop action, ensuring the audience never finds a lull in the action.

“There are always passengers moving about the deck and it reminds me of a sitcom a bit,” he said. “There are hilarious jokes and plot points all the time. It’s just so entertaining to not just act but to watch it.”

Plum also enjoys the fact that the entire show is high energy.

“There’s not a scene that lets you relax,” she said. “You are engaged the whole time. There are funny plot twists, it’s unpredictable. When you walk in, you don’t really know who’s going to be with each other at the end of the show.”

The musical is rated PG-13 because of adult jokes, but the content is appropriate for all audiences. Conrad said many of the jokes are assumed.

“Out of any show that I’ve seen, this is my favorite,” he said.

“We’ve put so much work in and I think that people will be able to see that and it will pay off,” Odegard said.

“A lot of work has gone into dancing,” Vik added. “It’s great that there are a lot of people who are involved and more comfortable in their abilities.”

Theater has been a big part of this trio’s lives, preparing them for what’s to come after high school. It’s not just about adding to their resumes; theater is a family.

“I’m an introvert, so when I joined theater in sixth grade I really didn’t think I would do very well,” Odegard said. “It’s such a welcoming group. It’s easy to experiment with your character because they make it comfortable. Theater has given me a family and people that I can connect with in the school.”

Vik joined theater in eighth grade, but it was cancelled due to COVID. She then auditioned in online tryouts her freshman year for “Urinetown.”

“Getting to interact with upperclassmen and learning things from them improved my self-confidence,” she said.

Conrad said he’s striving to build his skills in theater because one day he’d like to be a professional performer. He plays trombone, sings and acts, and gets to do all three in this show.
“I love it because it’s a little sandbox where you can create your character and become that character and interact with other made-up characters as well,” he said.

Showtimes are 7 p.m. Dec. 1, 2 and 9 and 2 p.m. Dec. 3 and 10. Pre-ticket sales are online on the RFSD Facebook page or website. You can also purchase tickets at the door. Online ticket sales stop an hour prior to each show. 


Elizabeth Baillargeon

Jayden Brohman-Morgen

Vivian Buri

Lydia Carlson

Dylan Conrad

Elaina Dunham

Max Egan

Aiden Evans

Abby Filkins

Alice Follstad

Brenna Frank

Aly Ghenciu

Graysen Hallock

Symphony Hanson

Parker Heinze

Logan Huppert

Michael Ireland

Claire Ireland

Ben Jaeckel

Sean James

Camilla Johnson

Avery Kannel

Genevieve Kerr

Cecilia Kinney

Bella Kohn

Jayda Lahn

Addison Maher

Ellea Maloney

Samantha Miller

Ella Muszynski

Megan Odegard

Klaudia Pepin

Jackson Range

Kjersten Richter

Lilly Robinson

Makenna Rowekamp

Callen Schallberg

Addie Smith

Kira Sonnee

Leo Stamets

Ashley Symicek

Brooklyn Tape

Kaelyn Tape

Lauren Tlougan

Ava Vik

Nayleen Vue

Holt Walker

Katelyn Wayne


Cam Berner

Sylvia Bonderson

McKenna Carlson

Sean Carrol

Lara Chaffee

Rowan Coe

Lyv Colberg

Kylieauna Eckdahl

Hannah Falkner

Sophia Ford

Gracie Harer

Bella Horn

Henry Hovland

Anika Hovland

Cole Jalowitz

Mallory James

Rebekah Jarocki

Adysan Knutson

Jonathan Korolchuk

Hunter Korolchuk

Hailey Korolchuk

Reese Leonard

Alton Lesneski

Augie Maude

Jay Nagel

Kezia Nania

Madeline Reese

Sylvia Rundle

Lily Shipp

Meredith Tille

Blake Walker

Sam Zaugg

Xavier Zuber

Pit band

Wesley Brux

Wyatt Cameron

Keagan Carlson

Joe Coughlin

Josiah Domeyer

Chloe Ellis

Grace Fitzsimons

Gabe Gilles

Jill Jaeckel

Collin Jalowitz

Anika Loy

Lumen Mason

Terry Mithun

Logan Morrisson

MaClain O’Connell

Colin Peterson

Alex Sjogren

Devan Snell

Taylor Stevens

Cal Zalusky

Directing team

Sarah Plum – Drama and Music Director

Bryan Jaeckel – Assistant Director and Producer

Alex Plum – Orchestra Director

Laura Decheine – Choreographer

Sydney Summers – Costume Designer

Born into Royalty – Sound Design

Troy Dixen – Set and Light Design

Anything Goes, River Falls High School, musical, drama, comedy