By Cole Porter, P.G. Wodehouse, Howard Lindsay, Russel Crouse, Guy Bolton
Directed by Steven Nibbe
Billy Crocker, a young love-sick Wall Street broker, stows away on the S.S. American, in hopes of winning the heart of his beloved Hope Harcourt. His boss, Yale graduate Elisha J. Whitney, is also on board. He plans to relax before the tremendous sale of his own company's stock (or, in the 1962 version, to make an important business deal in England). Hope is on her way to England to be married to Sir Evelyn Oakleigh (Lord Evelyn Oakleigh in the 1987 version), a stuffy, hapless British nobleman. Also on the boat are "Moonface" Martin, a second-rate gangster on the lam labeled "Public Enemy 13," and his friend Bonnie (originally named Erma); the two have disguised themselves as a minister and a missionary, respectively, after stranding the ship's real chaplain back at the port. They also mistakingly left behind their leader, "Snake Eyes" Johnson, Public Enemy 1.
On board, Crocker runs into his friend, Reno Sweeney, an evangelizing nightclub singer, who resolves to help Billy win over Hope, to the dismay of Hope's mother, Mrs. Harcourt (though she doesn't know about the original plan), who insists she marry Evelyn. Billy simultaneously learns the true identities of Moonface and Bonnie, and in exchange for his silence, they join the plot to break up Hope and Evelyn. However, as Billy doesn't have a ticket or passport, Bonnie and Moonface let him have Snake Eyes Johnson's, without telling him who it belongs to. But the ships crew figure out that Public Enemy number 1 is on board, and Billy has to take on a number of hilarious disguises to hide from them--which at first makes Hope angry with him. As the show progresses, Hope, Evelyn, Billy, Reno, Elisha, Mrs. Harcourt, Bonnie, and Moonface all end up in a variety of compromising positions with members of the opposite sex, with Reno seducing Evelyn Oakleigh, originally just to get seen by Hope or Mrs. Harcourt so they would reject him, but eventually she wins him over for real and they even get married. Hope and Billy also get married, Mrs. Harcourt (divorced) and Mr. Whitney get married, and Moonface Martin is demoted even further from Public Enemy number 13.
Produced by Verona Area High School at 300 Richard Street, Verona, WI
Performances: September 27-30, 2007
Performance Times: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7:30 and Sunday at 2:00
Ticket Prices: $8.00
Call 608-845-4488 for reservations or more information.