Ocean liner fanatic is thrilled to help stage 'Anything Goes' - his favorite musical - in Brainerd

Tim Leagjeld set as well as a model ocean liner that will be on display

Tim Leagjeld with model oceanliner
Tim Leagjeld holds the model ocean liner SS American that he built in front of the set for "Anything Goes" on the stage at the Franklin Arts Center in Brainerd on March 9, 2022. Stage North Theatre Co. will stage the musical March 24-26 and March 31-April 2.
Nancy Vogt / Echo Journal

BRAINERD — Rural Jenkins resident Tim Leagjeld was able to combine another of his passions with set design and acting in the upcoming Stage North Theatre Co. performance of “Anything Goes” - his absolute love of ocean liners.

“It’s my favorite musical,” Leagjeld said before rehearsal Wednesday, March 9, on the Franklin Arts Center stage in Brainerd. “It’s everything - it’s art deco. It’s ocean liners. And it’s Cole Porter. That’s my happy place.”

According to the Stage North Theatre website: “‘Anything Goes’ is a 1934 musical comedy with music and lyrics by Cole Porter. The story revolves around the madcap antics concerning a public enemy aboard an ocean liner bound from New York to London. The musical introduced such memorable songs as ‘Anything Goes,’ ‘It’s Delovely,’ ‘You’re the Top’ and ‘Blow Gabriel Blow.’”

Tim Leagjeld Anything Goes Set 1.JPG
The Stage North Theatre Co. cast rehearses for "Anything Goes" on an ocean liner set Tim Leagjeld built for the March-April 2022 production at the Franklin Arts Center in Brainerd. The life preserver ring is from Leagjeld's family's resort, Driftwood Resort, that formerly operated on the Whitefish Chain.
Contributed / Tim Leagjeld

Leagjeld saw the show performed three times professionally in the 1980s, including at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis and the Lincoln Center in New York City.

It’s my favorite musical. It’s everything - it’s art deco. It’s ocean liners. And it’s Cole Porter. That’s my happy place.
Tim Leagjeld

Thirty years ago this fall, he played Lord Evelyn Oakleigh in the musical that takes place aboard the SS American when it was staged in 1992 in Pequot Lakes. Of course, he built the set too for that production.


“The main difference is there’s a second story,” he said of the ocean liner set for the 2022 production in Brainerd with an opening day of Thursday, March 24.

And this set went up twice.

Originally scheduled to be performed in 2020, Leagjeld was the set designer. Before opening day, however, the COVID-19 pandemic set in and the production was canceled. The set eventually was taken down and stored.

Fast forward to 2022 and Leagjeld added stage manager to his duties, and he plays a sailor in a couple of scenes.

The set is inspired by the one he saw at the Lincoln Center and follows the same color scheme. He points out that on a real ocean liner, the railings would be white. But on his set, they are gold so they stand out and don’t get lost amongst the white of the set.

Tim Leagjeld Anything Goes Set 2.JPG
The cast for the Stage North Theatre Co. producton of "Anything Goes" rehearses on stage at the Franklin Arts Center in Brainerd in March 2022.
Contributed / Tim Leagjeld

Leagjeld became enamored with ocean liners at age 13.

“It started with ‘The Poseidon Adventure,’ which is 50 years old this September,” he said of the 1972 film about a luxury liner that capsizes while traveling from New York City to Greece on New Year’s Eve.

He also mentioned “Titanic,” which came out 25 years ago.


Leagjeld was on a cruise two years ago when he came home to find rehearsals for “Anything Goes” had shut down.

“It’s so fun to be able to do the show again because ‘92 was a long time ago,” Leagjeld said, adding the show has humor and goofy characters. “We need that in this time.”

As an added Leagjeld touch, he built a model ocean liner that will be on display at the ticket counter in the lobby. He built it to the same scale as other model ships, but it’s not based on an actual ship.

“It’s the basic blueprint and the rest I made up because I wanted it to represent the ship in the show,” Leagjeld said of the SS American.

“Anything Goes”

  • When: 7:30 p.m. March 24-25 and March 31-April 1; 2 p.m. March 26 and April 2
  • Where: Franklin Arts Center, Brainerd
  • Director: Gary Hirsch
  • Information:

Nancy Vogt, editor, may be reached at 218-855-5877 or Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at

Nancy Vogt is editor of the Pineandlakes Echo Journal, a weekly newspaper that covers eight communities in the Pequot Lakes-Pine River areas - from Nisswa to Hackensack and Pequot Lakes to Crosslake.

She started as editor of the Lake Country Echo in July 2006, and continued in that role when the Lake Country Echo and the Pine River Journal combined in September 2013 to become the Pineandlakes Echo Journal. She worked for the Brainerd Dispatch from 1992-2006 in various roles.

She covers Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Lake Shore and Crosslake city councils, as well as writes feature stories, news stories and personal columns (Vogt's Notes). She also takes photos at community events.

Contact her at or 218-855-5877 with story ideas or questions. Be sure to leave a voicemail message!
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