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Roundabout Theatre Company Presents Sutton Foster and Joel Grey in Cole Porter's "Anything Goes" at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre
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Roundabout Theatre Company Presents Sutton Foster and Joel Grey in Cole Porter's "Anything Goes" at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre

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Roundabout Theatre Company

Todd Haimes, Artistic Director
Harold Wolpert, Managing Director
Julia C. Levy, Executive Director
et al.

Sutton Foster and Joel Grey
Anything Goes
(Anything Goes Website)

Music and Lyrics by
Cole Porter
(Cole Porter Bio)
Original book by PG Wodehouse & Guy Bolton,
Howard Lindsay & Russell Crouse
New book by Timothy Crouse & John Weidman
Directed and Choreographed by Kathleen Marshall
Music Supervisor/Vocal Arranger: Rob Fisher

Stephen Sondheim Theatre
124 West 43rd Street

Colin Donnell, Adam Godley, Laura Osnes
Jessica Stone, Walter Charles, Robert Creighton
Andrew Cao, Raymond J. Lee, John McMartin, Jessica Walter

And an ensemble of actors/dancers/singers

Set Design: Derek McLane
Costume Design: Martin Pakledinaz
Lighting Design: Peter Kaczorowski
Sound Design: Brian Ronan
Additional Orchestrations: Bill Elliott
Original Orchestrations: Michael Gibson
Dance Arrangements: David Chase
Music Director/Conductor: James Lowe
Music Coordinator: Seymour Red Press
Production Stage Manager: Peter Hanson
Hair & Wig Design: Paul Huntley
Makeup Design: Angelina Avallone
Production Stage Manager: Peter Hanson
Casting: Jim Carnahan CSA & Stephen Kopel
Assoc. Director: Marc Bruni
Assoc. Choreographer: Vince Pesci
Technical Supervisor: Steve Beers
Executive Producer: Sydney Beers
Press Representative: Boneau/Bryan-Brown
Director of Marketing & Sales: David B. Steffen
Founding Director: Gene Feist
Associate Artistic Director: Scott Ellis

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
April 12, 2011

Everyone loves a show-stopper! That’s when a performance is so incredible that the clapping goes on and on, stops, and starts again. I’ve seen this often at the ballet, but rarely at the theatre. After Sutton Foster’s Act II “Blow, Gabriel, Blow”, the breathless Ms. Foster and the audience together were beaming and brimming with joy, as the moment was seared in the memory. This is one stunning, sexy, actress/dancer/singer – she’s got it all. Cole Porter’s Anything Goes certainly has it all, with standards like “I Get a Kick Out of You”, “Easy to Love”, “It’s De-lovely”, “The Gypsy in Me”, and, of course, “Anything Goes”. Kathleen Marshall directs and choreographs this show, with its non-stop witty plot, its non-stop tapping rhythms, and its non-stop gorgeous melodies that flow into the next like a bubble bath of exotic cocktails. If you can’t quite manage to book a cruise, then rush to the Sondheim Theatre, because the ship’s bells will bring you aboard.

Ms. Foster is Reno Sweeney, who used to be an evangelist and is now a club entertainer, who’s been pals with Billy Crocker (Colin Donnell), a stockbroker, who’s helping his Wall Street banker boss, Elisha Whitney (John McMartin) with surreptitious deals. Billy can’t get Hope Harcourt (Laura Osnes) off his mind. Laura is engaged to Lord Evelyn Oakleigh (Adam Godley), at the urging of Hope’s mother, Mrs. Evangeline Harcourt (Jessica Walter), who’s counting on Oakleigh’s fortune to pay her lavish bills, now that the Harcourts’ finances are dwindling. Also aboard the 1930’s SS American are Moonface Martin (Joel Grey), aka “Public Enemy No. 13”, Reno’s Angels, Purity, Charity, Chastity, and Virtue, who round out her routines, Captain (Walter Charles), who needs famous gangsters to draw guests to his ship, Luke and John (Andrew Cao, Raymond J. Lee) who double as Chinese Preachers-eager Gamblers, a Quartet, and old lady in a wheelchair, Moonface’s pal, Erma (Jessica Stone), a Reporter, Photographer, Ship’s Purser, Crew, Passengers, Fred, the Bartender, FBI Agents, and Henry T. Dobson, the Minister (William Ryall).

Reno, Billy, Lord Oakleigh, and Hope, have their fates intertwined, as Reno gives up on Billy and goes for the Lord, because the affianced Hope is persistently swept off her feet by the lovelorn Billy. Hope’s mother, gold-digger that she is, re-establishes her coffers with the loss of the Lord, and goes for Whitney, who’s wheeling and dealing on Wall Street on the Atlantic. But, the convoluted plot, with Mr. Grey holding a rifle that’s bigger than he is, and some glasses stealing, so Whitney doesn’t know that Billy’s aboard, is secondary to the dances and songs. Hope and Billy dance in silky elegance to “It’s De-Lovely”, on the moonlit deck, and you just know they’re a duo for keeps. Ms. Osnes’ honey-infused vocals, not to mention her smooth, sensual style, are compelling, while Ms. Foster’s vocals and style are commanding. When the cast broke out into a cappella tap, the house came down. Mr. Grey was appealing in his Burlesquean antics, and Mr. McMartin was perfectly cast as the foiled Wall Street strategist. But, Mr. Donnell and Mr. Godleigh seemed to need some of Ms. Foster’s pizzazz to spark their scenes. Mr. Godleigh had the advantage of type-casting, as Lord Evelyn finds his mojo with Reno in Act II, but Mr. Donnell lacked luster next to the sizzling Ms. Foster.

Derek McLane’s cruise ship was sensational, with its levels of decks, ramps, staterooms, and bar, and Martin Pakledinaz’ costumes (with Paul Huntley’s hair and wigs) evoked 30’s sailors, gangsters, and glamour in eye-catching brilliance. Peter Kaczorowski’s lighting was nuanced and warm, whether morning or moonlight, and Brian Ronan’s sound brought out the clicking heels and shuffling shoes, as well as every gorgeous note. Rob Fisher was a pro with music and vocals. Kudos to Cole Porter, and kudos to all.

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For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at