(Caveat: Several weeks ago I underwent rotator cuff surgery, and my right shoulder, arm and hand have been immobilized in a sling until very recently. I just began several months of post-op physical therapy. I had been severely hampered in my ability to type, so several worthy shows that I have seen recently have not been reviewed in a timely manner. Beginning with today, I will work to clear up the backlog. Please be aware that my reviews may be more limited than usual until I am up to date. Several excellent shows are no longer playing, but I will highlight them, offering the assurance that when it comes time to submit my suggestions for nominations for the 2016 IRNE Awards, these shows and the people involved with them, will receive the consideration they deserve. Thank you for your understanding and support.)
| (Center) Rashidra Scott as Reno Sweeney and Cast Members|
Cole Porter's "Anything Goes"
Goodspeed Opera House
Through June 6th
- Rashidra Scott is stunning in the pivotal role of Reno Sweeney. She makes her way in the world as sort of a singing evangelist cum night club chanteuse. She and her band of supporting acolytes and angels nearly stop the show with the rousing anthem "Blow, Gabriel, Blow."
- David Harris is convincing as the young Wall Street broker, Billy Crocker, who stows away aboard the ship S.S. American, hoping to spend time with Hope, with whom he has fallen in love as soon as he had set eyes on her in NYC. He and Reno blend beautifully in the duet "You're The Top," and he and Hope are outstanding in "All Through The Night."
- Hannah Florence is perfect as Hope Harcourt, engaged to the boorish Lord Evelyn, but secretly sharing Billy's affection. She and Billy team up vocally in the familiar number "It's De-Lovely."
- Benjamin Howes is wonderfully arch as the hapless Lord Evelyn, destined to lose the girl despite having the advantage of rank over Billy.
- Stephen deRosa is Moonface Martin, "Public Enemy #13." His moll, Erma, is played by Desiree Davar, who gets to join the sailors in the tune "Buddie, Beware." Moonface disguises himself as a minister with the help of Billy, and joins Reno in singing a rousing rendition of "Friendship."
- Denise Lute plays Hope's mother, Mrs. Evangeline Harcourt. She is obsessed with her Pomeranian lap dog.
- Kingsley Leggs is Elisha J. Whitney, Billy's boss on Wall Street. He fears that he may be ruined if Billy does not execute a sale of stock that Whitney is sure will tumble in value, but Billy opts to jump onto the ship instead of executing the trade. We get to hear Mr. Leggs vocal chops in "The Crew Song."
- Patrick Richwood as the Purser is the comic foil throughout the proceedings, and almost steals the show with his hilarious and outrageous buffoonery. He has a face with a thousand expressions, and he uses them all with perfect comic timing. His is a stand-out performance among many excellent star turns by this cast.
- Jay Aubrey Jones as the Captain get to shine when he and the Sailors sing "There's No Cure Like Travel."
- John Ramsey as Rev. Henry T. Dobson has as part of his entourage, Luke (Christopher Shin) and John (Sam Tanabe), two reformed gamblers.
- In this production, the ensemble of dancers and singers carry much of the weight and burden of telling the story, so they need to be highlighted as well: Brittany Bohn, Sy Chounchaisit, Alison Jantze, Karilyn Ashley Surratt, James Tolbert, Edward Tolve and John T. Wolfe.
|Stephen DeRosa, Rashidra Scott, David Harris |
and the cast of Goodspeed's "Anything Goes"
(c) Diane Sobolewski
"Anything Goes" continues at the Goodspeed through June 6th. Pull up anchor and make your way there. You do not want to miss the pleasure cruise.