Cole Porter's timeless rom-com musical "Anything Goes" starred the legendary Ethel Merman as Reno Sweeney when it opened on Broadway in 1934.
Andrea Wright gets to play the roof-raising nightclub singer in the Manatee Players' production that opens today at the Riverfront Theatre in downtown Bradenton.
The actress has thrilled local audiences in numerous productions over the years, including her 2011 performance as Roxie Hart in the Players' highly successful staging of "Chicago."
And Wright will definitely be playing to packed houses during "Anything Goes."
About a week ago, The Manatee Players announced the Jan. 17-Feb. 3 engagement had sold out.
There's a waiting list started at the box office one hour before curtain time of each performance. Being on the list does not guarantee a seat, "But every effort is made to fill unoccupied seats at curtain time," read the statement issued by the community theater troupe's marketing director.
Several performances of "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," running Feb. 21-March 17, are also sold out. "Forum" was originally scheduled to close on March 10 but has been extended through March 17.
"There are still good seats available for March 12-17," the Manatee Players stated. "You certainly don't want to miss seeing the last show in the old Riverfront Theater!"
The Manatee Performing Arts Center is scheduled to be open for the Players' production of "Miss Saigon" that runs March 28 to April 14.
"Anything Goes" includes such memorable songs as "It's De-Lovely," "Friendship," "I Get A Kick Out Of You" and "All Through The Night."
The show is directed and choreographed by Rick Kerby, The Manatee Players' producing artistic director, with Aaron Cassette as musical director.
In addition to Wright, The Manatee Players' all-volunteer cast includes actors from Bradenton and as far away as Tampa.
Omar Montes plays Billy Crocker, Melanie Bierweiler plays Hope Harcourt, Brian Chunn plays Sir Evelyn Oakleigh, Michael DeMocko plays Moonface Martin, Brittney Klepper plays Erma, Dan Coppinger plays Elisha Whitney and Caroline Cox plays Mrs. Harcourt.
The ensemble cast includes Anna Trinci, Katie Priest, Katie Zanders, Holly Rizzo, Corinne Woodland, Kaitlin Folsom, Mitcheal Pearl, Phil Croome, James Faurote, Michael Ridgewell, Alexander Zickafoose, Jay Poppe, Nick Drivas, Alex Beach, Brandon Jamora, Joseph Rebella, Bob Weintraub and Amy Ferrell.
Details: Jan. 17-Feb. 3; 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays. Manatee Players Riverfront Theatre, 102 Old Main St., Bradenton. Tickets: $26 (adults), $15 (teachers) and $13 (students). Information: 941-748-5875 or www.manateeplayers.com.
Wade Tatangelo, features writer and columnist, can be reached at 941-745-7057. Follow him on Twitter@wtatangelo.