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Anything Goes Sets Sail at Musicals Tonight3 min read

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The Review: Musicals Tonight – Anything Goes

by Ross

I’ve never been to one of the many offerings of Musicals Tonight, the not-for profit theatre company that dares to stage big time musicals on a budget that probably is as small as the intimate Acorn Theatre where they are currently sailing away with Anything Goes at Theatre Row. But as my friend and I strolled down 9th Avenue on our way to the theatre, we pondered the idea of this musical, one that I remember very fondly from Roundabout’s glorious production in 2011 starring the incredible Sutton Foster. She not only could sing the part like no other (click here to watch her on the Tony Awards), but could tap dance through that big huge number, “Anything Goes“, at the end of Act 1, and still, without losing a beat, belt out the big finale (ok, ok, she had a moment to catch her breath but only one small moment). I remember being astounded by the lung power of that lady, and was pleased she received so much press because many a Reno sang the number but left the tap dancing to the ensemble, waiting in the back for the moment to come out center stage and bring Act 1 to a close with the rousing last verse and big note finish. Foster, who won the Drama Desk and Tony Awards for Best Actress in a Musical, was not going to stand back and let that happen, no, she was going to be center stage, kicking and tapping with the crew, and still power out those last few lines of lyrics, with a lung full of air and a big smile across her face. (And to be honest, I also can’t get enough of watching Jonathan Groff do his own version at Miscast, click here to watch, which was basically a huge salute to Foster’s greatness, and in turn, his own. So much fun!)

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Meredith Inglesby (center) and cast of Musicals Tonight’s Anything Goes.

My favorite musical diva, Patti LuPone did the part of Reno as well, back in 1987 (click here to watch) for which she won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress and was nominated for a Tony. She was my introduction to the musical and to Reno Sweeney, a performance that I, and everyone around me, fully enjoyed every time it played on the big video screen at Revolver Bar in West Hollywood back in the day.  And who wouldn’t love this 1934 ship-board farce with glorious music and lyrics by Cole Porter with the original book by Guy Bolton and P. G. Wodehouse, but heavily revised by the team of Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. There’s no denying the ride is a fun and festive night of high kicks and high jinxes on board this ocean liner bound for London. It is filled from ‘bow to stern’ with glorious and well-known classics by Porter, ones that will make you smile the moment they begin, so sit back, cause this is one smooth sailing across the ocean blue. (for the full review, click here)

 

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Front row L-R: Jessica Moore (Erma); Brian Ogilvie (Evelyn Oakley); Meredith Inglesby (Reno); Nick Walker Jones (Billy); Beth Stafford Laird (Hope).

 Posted on March 3, 2018