Lush life: Anything Goes is a dazzling, old-fashioned romp | Arts
Arts
INDY Week's arts blog

Archives | RSS | Follow on

Friday, March 22, 2013

Lush life: Anything Goes is a dazzling, old-fashioned romp

Posted by on Fri, Mar 22, 2013 at 9:10 AM

ANYTHING GOES
* * * * 1/2 stars
@ DPAC
Through March 24

“Times have changed,” croons dazzling nightclub star Reno Sweeney in the title song of Anything Goes. “The world has gone mad today and good’s bad today.”

Maybe so, but the touring production of this Broadway revival shows that some good things have staying power. This comic tale of romance and madcap hijinks aboard a luxury liner originally opened on Broadway in 1934, starring the legendary Ethel Merman as Sweeney. Nearly 80 years later, Cole Porter’s delicious songs set against an updated book by Timothy Crouse and John Weidman still add up to an escapist delight.

Do take the term “updated book” with a grain of salt. The show remains old-fashioned, featuring groan-worthy one-liners and a mostly nonsensical plot about Billy Crocker (Josh Franklin), a young financier who sneaks aboard a London-bound cruiser to pursue a lovely but betrothed debutante, Hope Harcourt (Alex Finke).

Also on board are Moonface Martin (Fred Applegate, who played The Producers’ Max Bialystock on Broadway), a charismatic gangster disguised as a priest; his tarty sidekick, Erma (Joyce Chittick); Hope’s very British and very wealthy fiancé, Lord Evelyn Oakleigh (a hysterical Edward Staudenmayer); and the brassy, big-voiced evangelist-turned-showgirl Reno (a show-stealing Rachel York).

As these characters collide, all sorts of silly gags unfold, including a rather racist subplot involving two Chinese passengers that inexplicably survived the book's updating. Sometimes these jokes fall flat, but not to worry: Like any good, old-fashioned musical, the plot exists solely to couch show-stopping song-and-dance numbers—and there’s always a number right around the corner. Even if you don’t know Anything Goes, you’ll know these classic Cole Porter songs; “I Get a Kick Out of You,” “You’re the Top” and “It’s De-lovely” all appear in this musical.

And the dancing—oh, the dancing. Director Kathleen Marshall’s choreography, abetted by Martin Pakledinaz’s costumes, is ravishing. When the ensemble shows up full-force for “Anything Goes” and “Blow, Gabriel, Blow,” tapping and spinning and waving their hands in the air with military precision and unstoppable energy, you’ll find yourself transfixed.

Yes, times may have changed, but it seems the pleasures derived from well-executed Broadway excess have endured.

Tags: , , , , ,

Pin It

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Arts



Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

Best ending should have been:

Aurora got really hurt by projectile (in movie it hit her arm). It should …

by Sergej on Movie Review: Passengers Proves a Bad Ending Can Ruin an Otherwise Good Movie (Arts)

I'd keep an eye on the Facebook page and expect to see events there as they finish reshuffling, but if …

by Brian Howe, INDY managing editor for arts & culture on An Epilogue for Unexposed Microcinema's Bold, Meaningful Year of Holding Down a Stable Venue for Experimental Film (Arts)

sorry i missed these events. how do I find out about future ones? Web link is dead. FB/Twitter links appear …

by Geoff Dunkak on An Epilogue for Unexposed Microcinema's Bold, Meaningful Year of Holding Down a Stable Venue for Experimental Film (Arts)

The critic sounds like a self-absorbed adolescent. Why would she publish a non-review? Only to prove that a chef doesn't …

by ncreader on Scott Crawford Refused to Sell Us a Plate of Food at Crawford and Son (Arts)

I easily believe Crawford would. There's a lot of ego needed to achieve the self-aggrandizement required at those levels. Those …

by AgentDani on Scott Crawford Refused to Sell Us a Plate of Food at Crawford and Son (Arts)

Comments

Best ending should have been:

Aurora got really hurt by projectile (in movie it hit her arm). It should …

by Sergej on Movie Review: Passengers Proves a Bad Ending Can Ruin an Otherwise Good Movie (Arts)

I'd keep an eye on the Facebook page and expect to see events there as they finish reshuffling, but if …

by Brian Howe, INDY managing editor for arts & culture on An Epilogue for Unexposed Microcinema's Bold, Meaningful Year of Holding Down a Stable Venue for Experimental Film (Arts)

© 2017 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation