This afternoon I had the pleasure of seeing the Roundabout Theater’s touring company version of “Anything Goes.”
Revived in 2011 the story remains mostly unchanged from earlier productions, though songs from other Porter musicals have been added in. The story remains largely the same: Billy’s a new comer to the world of industry. When delivering a passport to his boss who is departing for London, he spies the women he loves (Hope) and her fiancee (Evelyn). After unwittingly throwing the FBI off the trail of a real gangster (Moonface Martin) he’s given the ticket and passport of another gangster who didn’t make it onto the ship. Meanwhile, an evangelist-turned-lounger singer (Reno) loves Billy and does her best to help him get the girl he wants if it can’t be her. The first half largely deals with Billy trying to avoid getting caught by the Captain and by his boss (since he didn’t complete the sale that his boss wanted) and the second half Billy pretending to the Public Enemy Number One (the ship is sorely lacking celebrities) and trying to prevent Hope’s wedding.
At the core, it’s a romantic comedy, yet it isn’t coy or cloying. You know how it’ll end and who will end up with whom but none of it matters. The fact that it <i>is</i> old-fashioned probably aids as does the fact that the show doesn’t take itself seriously.The vaudeville elements of the show’s past remain, such as the cheesy jokes and oversized hook. Everything here is top notch: the singing (Rachel York deserves special kudos), the dancing, the costumes, the sets. This is the kind of over-sized production that we just don’t get any more and it’s all so worth it.
The tour started October 2012 and is going to hit 25 cities total. If it comes to your area absolutely go and see it. Period. You won’t regret it