September 14, 2011

It's Delightful, It's Delovely

It's close to impossible for one not to enjoy themselves in Anything Goes. Light story, happy ending, lots of dancing, great songs by Cole Porter oh and dancing sailors!

Anything Goes
is set on the SS America sailing from NY to London. Billy Crocker (the dreamy Colin Donnel) is a stowaway in love with the debutante, Hope Harcourt (Laura Osnes). She in turn is engaged to the wealthy Lord Evelyn Oakleigh (Adam Godley). Reno Sweeney (Sutton Foster), a nightclub singer and once in love with Billy, helps Billy win Hope with the aid of mobster Moonface Martin (Joel Grey). What follows is sort of a comedy of errors and mistaken identities towards the quest for true love.

The cast is uber talented. Sutton Foster is again impressive with her song and dance numbers. She proves why she is the current darling of musical theatre. How she can sing (without sounding winded) after that long complicated dance break during Anything Goes is mind boggling. Colin Donnel is just dreamy as the leading man and his chemistry with Laura Osnes is compelling specially in their dance for De-lovely. They are as close to Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers gliding onstage. Joel Grey is amusing as a trigger happy mobster in this show. Kelly Bishop plays Hope's mother and it is quite a privilege to see her onstage after a long absence (well, since A Chorus Line).

It is a pleasure to see this kind of musical where they have these long elaborate dance numbers involving the whole ensemble (all with great talent) in Anything Goes and Blow Gabriel Blow. An ode to the old musicals. To be fair though, as a student of tap, I am partial to the Anything Goes number and it's tapping. And once seen in the theatre in full choreography, it is a celebration of dance. Though some of the steps where not as complicated as it looks, it is the smoothness of the transitions that is very impressive and the very tuned syncopation that I love. Plus those flaps and times steps are even more resonant when one hears it live on stage, it just makes you smile. Made me so gungho to go to my Thursday night tap classes!

The Sondheim Theatre Stagedoor

Colin Donnel

Andrew Cao (Luke)

Laura Osnes

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