ANYTHING GOES debuted on Broadway in 1934 with the legendary Ethel Merman as Reno Sweeney. Since that debut it has had three Broadway revivals in 1962, 1987 and 2011 and each time won a Tony for Best Revival. It has long been a popular choice for community and school productions. Rightly so as it features some spectacular music and tap dance numbers. It is so 1930s classic musical theater and presented so well in that vein by director Mark Morgan at Moorestown Theater Company that the audience is really transported to the ’30s.
I loved the prelude with a wonderful 14 piece live orchestra playing while the passengers boarded ship and strolled around. The set was attractive and well used, the actors very well costumed in cruise wear colors, all creating a lovely scene.
As usual with MTC there is a ton of talent on the stage. Steve Kumke as Billy Crocker turns in a wonderful performance. He moves like a dancer and is wonderfully animated when he sings the opening number “You’re the Top”. Fabulous choreography here and throughout the show by Jody Haggerty. Dana Kares has the powerful vocals and stage presence to carry the role of Reno Sweeney with ease. Carol Ann Murray as Bonnie turns in a wonderfully entertaining performance with her little voice and giggle. Mark Morgan, to our delight and especially his young actors in the audience, plays Sir Evelyn Oakleigh; a really enjoyable performance. Rick Williams as Moonface Martin shows that he can handle a comedic role with ease and flair. Courtney Johnson plays Hope Harcourt; I could have listened to her sing all night. What a wonderful voice and so true to the styling of the ’30s. Reno’s Angels were all charming. Amongst them was such a lovely standout (I feel I must single her out): Evelyn Ebo. She has so much grace and personality on stage it is hard to watch anyone but her! Good thing the leads in this show are so strong!
The entire show is just delightful, delicious and de-lovely. Go see it!
Music and lyrics by Cole Porter
Based on the book by Guy Bolton, P.G. Wodehouse
with a heavily revised version by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse
Moorestown Theater Company at
Moorestown Upper Elementary School
325 Borton Landing Road
Moorestown N.J. 08057
November 14. 15. 21 & 22 @ 7 P.M.
November 16, 23 @ 2 P.M.