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A&E

Musical ‘Anything Goes’ brings a first-class cast to the Smith Center

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Anything Goes won the 2011 Tony Award for Best Musical Revival.
Joan Marcus
Jacob Coakley

Calendar

Anything Goes
February 7-8, 7:30 p.m.; February 9-10, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; $24-$129
Smith Center's Reynolds Hall, 749-2000

The oft-revised Anything Goes has a wisp of a plot strung between Cole Porter songs, features more corny gags than The Muppet Show and gets taken to heaven by its dreamy dance numbers—large choral routines, beautiful ballroom duets and a spectacular first-act tap finale that blows the roof off. Roundabout Theatre Company’s touring production, directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall and now playing as part of the Smith Center’s Broadway Las Vegas series, delivers on all counts.

Erich Bergen plays Billy, the young hero chasing the love of his life aboard a cruise ship, and his voice is as fine as ever, a light, clear tenor. It’s wonderful to watch him dance, really dance, in a way we never saw when he was here in Jersey Boys. He’s smooth and seductive as he crosses the stage with his paramour, Hope Harcourt (played by Alex Finke). Finke is quite the dancer herself, and has a fine voice—it’s a shame that the ingénue doesn’t have much to do in this show.

The brassy Reno Sweeney (played by Rachel York, the star of the show) does, however, and York takes full advantage. She struts, tempts and taps her way through the night, taking no prisoners. She was in fine form most of the time, though her voice strained sometimes when songs went into her upper register.

Fred Applegate as Moonface Martin (a gangster on the run) and Joyce Chittick as Erma (his accomplice) are delightful as the comedic foils, though there’s plenty of comedy for everyone.

Howell Binkley’s lighting keeps it bright for the comedy but also bathes the stage in rich, saturated colors that practically drip from Derek McLane’s fine sets. And Martin Pakledinaz’s costumes are appropriately flamboyant. There were a few minor technical problems—but all is forgiven in the joyous, buoyant energy that Anything Goes floats upon, a sugar rush of singing, dancing and exuberance.

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