Anything Goes remains the fizziest, breeziest musical that you can hope to see. The whimsical plot involves an ocean liner and star-crossed lovers, all coated in a generous amount of golden-era Hollywood sparkle. Needless to say there's plenty of tap dancing and dressing-up, along with the finest numbers that Cole Porter ever wrote, including De-Lovely, I Get a Kick Out of You and the iconic title track.
The 2011 Broadway production starring Sutton Foster won 3 Tony Awards, including Best Revival. The subsequent national tour, again helmed by director Kathleen Marshall, was a monster hit, with Rachel York winning Washington DC's Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Visiting production. Now on it's second national tour, the new cast features Emma Stratton and Brian Krinsky.
What is Anything Goes About?
The story centers on an ocean liner in the 1930s, which is departing New York and bound for London. Young broker Billy Crocker is accompanying his boss Elisha J. Whitney and nightclub singer Reno Sweeney to the boat, when he falls head over heels for a young woman, Hope Harcourt, who he fleetingly glimpses in a taxi. Billy is determined not to let her escape his grasp, so when he learns that Hope too is on her way to London, he stows away on board. To complicate matters, it turns out that Hope is travelling to England to get married. Also, unbeknownst to Billy, he is the object of Reno's affections.
Among the other passengers on board the SS American is gangster Moonface Martin (disguised as a minister), Hope's overbearing mother and Bishop T. Dobson. Throughout the course of the cruise, all of these characters come together in a jumble of misunderstandings, mishaps and all around glorious confusion.
History of Anything Goes
Anything Goes' history has been one of many re-writes and amendments. The first version of the story was written by the highly prodigious duo of Guy Bolton and P. G. Wodehouse. The plot was then quickly reworked just before the show first opened, maybe in lieu of the tragic real life sinking of the SS Morro Castle. Many songs have been added and taken away from various productions over the years, and there were also two movie adaptations, both starring Bing Crosby, which made drastic changes to the story.