The J presents famous Cole Porter musical


Posted by Bob Evans

The White Theatre at the Jewish Community Center

presents ANYTHING GOES Nov. 2-17

The Jewish Community Center of Kansas City

It’s Delightful, it’s Delicious, it’s De-lovely—it’s the musical ANYTHING GOES, with Cole Porter’s magical music underscoring this age-old tale of boy meets girl. ANYTHING GOES opens Saturday, Nov. 2 at The Lewis and Shirley White Theatre, located at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City (The J). Additional performances continue Nov. 3-17. Evening performances are at 7:30 p.m. and matinees are at 2 p.m. Details are available at

Opening The White Theatre’s 15th season, ANYTHING GOES is the consummate American musical.  Winner of the 2011 Tony Award for Best Revival, this crowd-pleasing show is filled with iconic music, energetic dance – including some amazing tap numbers — and hilarious antics, as a diverse group of characters hit the high seas on a journey audiences are sure to enjoy.

Directed by White Theatre veteran and Theatre in the Park’s Producing Artistic Director Tim Bair, this production of ANYTHING GOES includes an ensemble cast of incredibly talented performers, led by Jennifer Renfrow, as popular night club singer and former evangelist Reno Sweeney, played my Ethel Merman in the original Broadway production. A triple threat, Renfrow has starred in several White Theatre productions, including her portrayal of Sally Bowles in last season’s CABARET and in the title role in MARY POPPINS.

“I love ANYTHING GOES,” Bair said. “It’s a big ole piece of musical theatre hilarity from a time gone by. Terrific Cole Porter music, wonderful dancing… a full evening of straight up fun!”

In addition to Renfrow, there are other familiar faces in this production. D’Andre McKenzie, last seen on The White Theatre stage in Disney’s Newsies, tackles the role of Billy Crocker, a lovelorn Wall Street broker hoping to woo his beloved Hope Harcourt, who is engaged to another man, Sir Evelyn Oakleigh. Ashton Botts, another White Theatre favorite (YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN), takes on the role of the ingénue Harcourt. White Theatre veteran Sarah Montoya (SHREK, MARY POPPINS) portrays Hope’s reserved mother. Guy Gardner, a well-known face on KC stages and The J’s summer Theatre Camp, provides comic relief as Moonface Martin, aka Public Enemy No. 13!

A number of other White Theatre veterans complete the ensemble cast, including Ray Zarr (Whitney) Brad Clay (Pursor), Christina Coffey (Bonnie), and Tom O’Rourke (Captain).

Kacy Christiansen, who choreographed The White Theatre productions of CABARET and last summer’s delightful PETER PAN, puts this cast through the paces with lively dance numbers. Marsha Canaday directs Cole Porter’s classic music for this show.  Audiences may remember her amazing work in last season’s CABARET and CAMELOT.

Audiences will walk out humming such tunes “Blow Gabriel Blow,” “I Get a Kick Out of You,” and the show’s title song.

ANYTHING GOES is the opening production of The White Theatre’s 2019-2020 season that offers a Theatre Series, a Concert Series and lineup of Special Engagements. The White Theatre season is produced by The J’s Arts + Culture Department in a state-of-the-art 500-seat performing arts community theatre.

Anything Goes is a great show to kick off our 15th season.  It’s the kind of classic Broadway extravaganza that can really shine on a stage like ours, and people will be floored by the music and dance in this amazing show,” said Keith Wiedenkeller, director of Arts + Culture at The J and Managing Artistic Director of The White Theatre.

The White Theatre is a welcoming and inclusive space, providing handicap-seating options, access without steps, assistive listening devices, and The J’s signature open captioning system at select performances, making live theatre accessible for all patrons.

The 2019-2020 season features something for everyone, including The White Theatre’s first Shakespeare production, performances by The J’s Artist-in-Residence, the Kinnor Philharmonic as well as the hit Broadway Musical “Billy Elliot” featuring music by Elton John, co-produced with The Coterie Theatre.

In addition to ANYTHING GOES, The Theatre Series* includes three locally-produced shows with some of the region’s best talent, including:

  • LAST NIGHT OF BALLYHOO, (March 14-22)
  • BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL, (June 27-July 19)

The White Theatre’s Concert Series includes:

  • KINNOR PHILHARMONIC WINTER CONCERT – Kinnor Goes Klezmer! (Jan. 1, 2020, 3 p.m.)
  • FIDDLER IN CONCERT – Featuring Jerry Jay Cranford & Select Kinnor musicians (March 28 – 7:30 p.m., March 29 – 3 p.m.)

The White Theatre’s Special Engagements include:

  • OPEN STAGE AT THE J – Dance & Choreography showcase (March 1 – 2 p.m.)
  • THE JELLYBEAN CONSPIRACY (April 4 – 7:30 p.m.; April 5 – 1:00 & 7:30 p.m.)
  •  THE BEN HECHT SHOW (April 25 – 7:30 p.m., April 26 – 2 p.m.)

Full descriptions and performance times for each event are available at Auditions for various musicals and plays produced by The White Theatre productions will be held throughout the year and are announced on The White Theatre website as well as Facebook page.

Season tickets for The White Theatre season are now on sale with three ticket package options. Full Season (eight shows), Theatre Series (four shows) and the Concert Series (four shows). Tickets may be purchased online at, by calling the box office at (913) 327-8054 or in person at 5801 W. 115th St., Overland Park. The White Theatre box office is open Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. as well as 90 minutes before curtain on performance days.


(Character, Actor, City of residence)

Reno Sweeny: Jennifer Renfrow, Warrensburg, MO

Billy Crocker: D’Andre McKenzie, Lee’s Summit, MO

Hope Harcourt: Ashton Botts, Kansas City, MO
Mrs. Harcourt: Sarah Montoya, Lee’s Summit, MO

Sir Evelyn: Matt Fowler, Kansas City, MO

Moonface Martin: Guy Gardner, Lansing, KS
Bonnie: Christiana Coffey, Kansas City, MO

Whitney: Ray Zarr, Overland Park

Purser: Brad Clay, Kansas City, MO

Captain: Tom O’Rourke, Overland Park

Lora Sorenson, Kansas City, MO

Taylor Hahner, Raymore, MO

Kameryn Behrend, Kansas City, MO

Anna Nissen, Kansas City, MO

Jerry Birts, Overland Park

Jacob Jackson (Steward), Overland Park

Matthew Grigoratos, Overland Park

Jack Jones, Overland Park

Men’s Ensemble:
Paul McArdle, Shawnee

Josh Arellano, Kansas City, MO

Tristan Jacobson, Overland Park

Women’s Ensemble:

Jennifer Weiman (Reporter), Kansas City, KS

Rachel Phillips, Overland Park

Jennifer Abate, Independence, MO

About the Lewis & Shirley White Theatre

Located at the Jewish Community Campus, 5801 W. 115th St., in Overland Park, the non-profit Lewis & Shirley White Theatre, built in 2005, is a 500-seat, state-of-the-art facility, featuring the latest amenities in terms of seating, sound and lighting technology, and regularly hosts a mix of top talent from the region and around the world.  Called “the best kept secret” in Kansas City’s theatre scene, The White Theatre’s mission is to provide enriching, thought-provoking entertainment that builds on Jewish cultural values, enhancing wellness, meaning and joy for people of all cultural backgrounds.

About “The J

Established more than 100 years ago, the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City—The J, provides a warm welcome to families of all backgrounds. The J’s all-in-one hub for health, learning and well-being elevates the lives of the community and its members with programs of excellence in fitness, sports, theatre, arts + culture, senior adult programming and youth services including summer camps and child development. Everyone can “live up” at The J, located in Overland Park, Kansas, and at

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