Sunday, June 5, 2011

Anything Goes ***

The Roundabout Theatre Company's  revival of Cole Porter's hit show about the shenanigans on a transatlantic crossing is now at the lovely Stephen Sondheim Theatre. It's great to hear Porter's wonderful music and lyrics and to see Kathleen Marshall's terrific dance numbers. Unfortunately, these pleasures come with one of the silliest books ever written (and rewritten.) The best thing to do is to turn off your need for coherence, relax and enjoy the show. As Reno Sweeney, Sutton Foster's singing and dancing are wonderful, but I thought she fell a bit short creating the character. Joel Grey is miscast as gangster Moonface Martin. In the ingenue roles, Colin Donnell made a slightly bland Billy Crocker, while Laura Osnes revealed a lovely voice as Hope Harcourt. John McMartin, as Elisha Whitney, once again proves why he has had such a long and successful career. It was fun to see Jessica Walter onstage as Mrs. Evangeline Harcourt. Adam Godley was absolutely hilarious as Hope's fiance, Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. Jessica Stone was fun as the sexually voracious gangster moll Erma. The three-tiered set by Derek McLane is super and Martin Pakledinaz's period costumes are sensational. Marshall's direction and Rob Fisher's music direction were excellent. In short, it was a pleasurable but not memorable experience.

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