Sunday, May 15, 2011

REVIEW: Anything Goes (New York)

Stephen Sondheim Theatre (New York), Wednesday April 27

This is my last show in New York and it also proved to be the most eventful! I chose this show to be my last as it almost guarantees to be a good one. First of all, it is a Cole Porter musical… and one of his best! Then, you have Tony award winner Sutton Foster as Reno Sweeney; and then you have the Tony and Oscar winner Joel Grey as Moonface Martin. And yes, the show was a very good one.

As for the “eventful” part of my opening line, it all came from President Obama. You see, in the same evening, US President Obama was giving a talk across the theatre at The Town Hall in 43rd Street; and that means unusual (or the usual) tight security. While there was a huge crowd wanting to get a glimpse of him, I couldn’t care less and can’t wait to be seated in the theatre. So while Obama talked about his birth certificate and the economy, I was in the theatre enjoying myself until the show finished and the audience found themselves under “theatre arrest”. In short, we can’t leave the theatre for security (not ours) reasons. After a more or less 10-minute wait, we were ushered out in single file through the alley directly to the 42nd Street.

Back to the show… This Roundabout Theatre Company presentation was a “pretty” pretty standard production. There was no attempt to rethink or to innovate, but whatever it had, it presented them all polished and shiny. This is a show that was not trying to make sense of what was happening on stage; but instead, was trying to make you forget what was happening outside the stage. Kathleen Marshall's choreography was Hollywood 1930's-inspired yet exuded freshness as if it was just invented a week ago.

The star of the evening was Sutton Foster and she did a fantastic job, performing the role with just the right brashness that made her role lovable and intimidating at the same time. As for Joel Grey, it was nice to see him still active (singing and dancing very well) at the of 79; though I did detect some timing slip when it came to follow up lines and comedic pace. Brilliant as Billy Crocker was Colin Donnell. He was handsome and can sing and dance in that old fashion charm associated with Cole Porter musicals.


Anything Goes
This production opened on Broadway on April 7 2011
Lyrics by: Cole Porter
Music by: Cole Porter
Book by: Timothy Crouse and John Weidman, Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse and Guy Bolton and P.G.Wodehouse

Creative Team:
Kathleen Marshall (Direction and Choreography)
Derek McLane (Set Design)
Martin Pakledinaz (Costume Design)
Peter Kaczorowski (Lighting Design)
Rob Fisher (Music Direction)
David Chase (Dance Arrangements)

Cast Include:
Sutton Foster (Reno Sweeney)
Joel Grey (Moonface Martin)
John McMartin (Elisha Whitney)
Jessica Walter (Mrs. Evangeline Harcourt)
Colin Donnell (Billy Crocker)
Adam Godley (Lord Evelyn Oakleigh)
Laura Osnes (Hope Harcourt)

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