‘Anything Goes’ Behind the Scenes Stars Honored at Theater Guild Awards

Photo: Belmont High’s Sara Nelson and Nomi Vilvovsky with their “Best Stage Management’ award from the Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild. 

They are the unsung heroes back stage at a play or musical; providing actors their cues, oversee the tech crew, assist the director, making sure props are either off or on stage while keeping the show moving.

And for a production with as many moving parts – dancers, singers, actors, musicians – as this spring’s Belmont High School Performing Arts Company production of the Cole Porter musical “Anything Goes,” stage managers Sara Nelson and Nomi Vilvovsky, along with assistant managers Sophia Lubarr, Georgia Sundahl and Eli Dearden, where like jugglers being thrown an ever increasing number of balls to shuffle, with the expectation they would keep all of them in the air.

This past Monday, June 15, Nelson and Vilvovsky were honored for their organization and professional mastery by being awarded “Best Stage Management” in the High School Division at the annual Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild awards ceremony held in Boston. 

More than 70 Middle and High School productions were adjudicated by professional theater artists and educators and awards were given in a number of technical and performance categories.

“The award is a recognition not just of our strong team of student stage managers, but also the level of cohesion in all elements of the production: scenery and set changes, lighting, props, costumes, sound, actors and musicians,” noted Ezra Flam, “Anything Goes” producer and director.

In addition to the Stage Management Award, BHS PAC received nominations – which went to the top five schools in each category – for Best Dance Ensemble, Best Specialty Ensemble (the Sailors in the show) and Best Supporting Actor, Henry Dalby, as Moonface Martin.

PHOTOS: Sail to Belmont High to see Performing Arts Co.’s ‘Anything Goes’

Photo: Zoe Miner as Reno Sweeney leading the ensemble in “Blow, Gabriel, Blow” in the Belmont High School Performing Arts Company’s production of “Anything Goes.” 

Who knew you had to rehearse final bows?

But for director/producer Ezra Flam, nothing can be left to chance, especially when you have more than 70 students on the stage in the last scene of Belmont High School Performing Arts Company’s production of Cole Porter’s musical “Anything Goes” that opens Thursday, March 26. 

Playing a theater’s version of a traffic cop on stage during Tuesday’s dress rehearsal. Flam is calling out directions to a slew of students who first came together in try outs before Christmas to claim a spot in the annual spring musical. 

Just minutes before, Flam’s choreographer Jenny Lifson demonstrates to Reno’s Angels – the 10 featured female dancers – just how to hold up the hands and for the sailors to remember to “smile” while performing a series of tap steps before lifting their “Angels” in the finale. 

“Not one of them knew how to tap,” said Lifson, pointing to the boys’ in uniform on the stage.

“Look at them now. That’s impressive,” she said.

And while there were some hiccups during Tuesday’s run through – someone forgot to grab a chair at a scene change and the spot light went hunting for a feature actor during a scene – the majority of the afternoon rehearsal showed a polish few other high school groups could match.

Performances are Thursday, March 26 and Friday, March 27 at 7 p.m. and two shows on Saturday March 28; a matinee at 1:30 p.m. and the final show at 7 p.m.

Tickets are adults: $15 in advance, $18 at the door. Students: $10, Chenery 8th Grade Students: $5.

Tickets can be purchased online and at Champions Sports in Belmont Center.

Tickets ‘On Sail’ for Performing Arts Company’s Musical ‘Anything Goes’

What do I hear? Is that spring in the air?

It must be as tickets are now on sale for Belmont High School’s Performing Arts Company’s spring musical, Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes.”

The story consists of a series of madcap antics between a stowaway, a heiress, a nobleman, a nightclub singer and “Public Enemy #13 Moonface Martin” all aboard an ocean liner heading from New York to London. The list of popular songs in the musical includes “Anything Goes,” “You’re the Top,” and “I Get a Kick Out of You.


  • Thursday and Friday, March 26 and 27, at 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 28; a matinee at 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.


  • Adults: $15 in advance/$18 at the door.
  • Students: $10
  • Chenery 8th grade students: $5
  • Belmont Schools staff: reserve a free ticket online with coupon code BPSSTAFF or by e-mailing tickets@bhs-pac.org 

Buy tickets online here, at the door and at Champions Sports in Belmont Center.