Music and Dancing Make “Anything Goes”
By Skip Sheffield
It’s not the play. It’s the music that makes “Anything Goes” such an enduring favorite for 80 years.
A touring production of “Anything Goes” continues through March 15 at Kravis Center in West Palm Beach.
Cole Porter is the man behind the music in “Anything Goes,” which is kind of a parade of Porter’s greatest song hits. The book, by Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse, is deliberately light and silly, with a cast of stock characters aboard the ocean liner S.S. American. Essentially “Anything Goes” is a musical romance with three diverse couples who meet their match on the high seas, with satirical side plots centering on events of the post-Depression era.
Couple number one is Billy Crocker (Brian Krinsky) and Hope Harcourt (Rachelle Rose Clark). Billy is a stock broker working for a skirt-chasing tycoon boss (Michael R. Douglass).
Hope is a socialite type whose pushy mother (Tracy Bidleman) wants her to marry up to stuffy British aristocrat Lord Evelyn Oakleigh (Richard Lindenfelzer).
In a last ditch attempt to win Hope, Billy stows away on the London-bound S.S. American, where he meets various colorful characters.
The most colorful of all is Reno Sweeny (Emma Stratton), an evangelist-turned nightclub singer, who is an old friend of Billy’s.
Emma Statton steals every scene she is in as vivacious Reno. In fact all the other characters pale before her overpowering presence.
This makes this production a little bit out of balance, as the energy flags whenever Reno is absent the stage. Moonface Martin (Dennis Setteducati), a second-rate gangster who is Public Enemy No. 13, is a role designed for scene-stealing, but not so here.
The sets are minimal to the point of non-existence, but where this show excels is its live music, played by a full band, and lively choreography, featuring a large tap-dancing production on the title song.
So if baby I’m the bottom, “You’re the Top.” This and “I Get a Kick Out of You,” “Easy to Love” and “Blow Gabriel, Blow” are the reason to see this show. On that score it does not disappoint.
Tickets are $25 and up. Call 800-572-8471 or go to www.kravis.org.