Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Anything Goes To Stephen Sondheim

Anything Goes To Stephen Sondheim

UPDATED September 30, 2010

Earlier today, Roundabout Theatre Company announced that Kathleen Marshall's upcoming Broadway revival of Cole Porter's classic musical Anything Goes would be staged at its newly rechristened Stephen Sondheim Theatre.

As previously announced, Sutton Foster will star as Reno Sweeney. Joel Grey will portray Moonface Martin, it was announced on September 30. The rest of the cast is yet to be announced.

In addition to using the revised 1987 book from Timothy Crouse and John Weidman, this mounting of Anything Goes will be produced in its full glory, according to Roundabout's Artistic Director Todd Haimes. (Is Haimes taking a cue from frequent criticism that too many recent Broadway revivals have been whittled down to chamber pieces that are spare on the orchestrations?)

Anything Goes made its Great White Way debut at the Alvin Theatre (now the Neil Simon Theatre) on November 21, 1934. With original libretto written by Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse. Ethel Merman triumphantly led its titanic cast of more than 60 (which included a little known actress named Vivian Vance, who'd later find fame as Ethel Mertz on "I Love Lucy"). The production would close nearly one year later on November 16, 1935, after 420 performances.

The first and only Broadway revival of Anything Goes was mounted in 1987 by Lincoln Center at its Vivian Beaumont Theater. Using Crouse and Weidman's revived book, the show starred Patti LuPone as Reno opposite Howard McGillin as Billy Crocker, along with the late Bill McCutcheon as Moonface Martin and Anthony Heald as Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. Together, they would earn four of this revival's 10 Tony nominations. In addition to McCutcheon scoring a win, the revival won three Tonys, including for Best Revival. The revival of Anything Goes lasted nearly twice as long as the original, closing on September 3, 1989, after 784 performances.

Will today's audiences get a similar kick out of the upcoming revival? With one of Porter's best scores, count me among those hoping it's positively delovely.

Previews begin on March 10, 2010, with opening night set for April 7.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

In keeping with the new Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations that unfairly discriminate against bloggers, who are now required by law to disclose when they have received anything of value they might write about, please note that I have received nothing of value in exchange for this post.

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At 22 July, 2010, Blogger Kevin Daly said...

This is one of those rare shows that I would love to never see again. Some lovely songs in the score, but sitting through either version of the libretto is a tedious affair for me.

At 22 July, 2010, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

I've seen exactly one version of Anything Goes and it starred Sandy Duncan. I rather enjoyed it and think so much depends on how the show is directed and cast.


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