Anything Goes

Anything Goes
Music and lyrics by Cole Porter. New Book by Timothy Crouse and John Weidman. Beenleigh Theatre Group. November 10 – 25, 2017

Cole Porter’s Anything Goes is a classic musical comedy of the “they just don’t make ‘em like that anymore” variety. In an era of celebrity worship drawn from every walk of life, this old-fashioned musical feels as contemporary as the day it was written. Under Director Michael Skelton’s eye, three love stories play out to their final, delightful moments. Everyone, young and old alike, of course, lives happily ever after by the final curtain, which can only happen aboard a musical cruise ship overflowing with debutantes, dancing sailors and dry martinis.

The zany plot doesn’t make a lot of sense, but in a screwball comedy, plot isn’t always essential. Ian Maurice as Moonface Martin, a rubbery comic genius, achieves a height of criminality that is the stuff of dreams for his character. He steals the show, closely followed Lachlan Clark as Elisha Whitney, the Wall Street mogul. In the role of Reno Sweeney, Joanna Nash takes a different tack. She harnesses the energy of Bette Midler & the grace of Celine Dion, mixed in with specks of Sutton Foster. But traces of her true nature, a bighearted-wrong-side-of-the-tracks broad, peek out under her carefully crafted elegant couture.

Billy (James Rogers) is madly in love with Hope Harcourt (Lauren Conway), a beautiful heiress about to be married off to Lord Evelyn Oakleigh (Jarryd Pianca), the attractive but clueless scion of a family with a coat of arms but little else, to save his family’s failing fortunes. Lauren Conway, a winsome beauty, brings quite a bit of depth to her portrayal of the ironically named Hope. A huge mention to Carly Skelton as Erma Latour – a ferocious and well executed accent followed by her powerful voice which stole the limelight in every scene.

The entire cast is terrific and equally talented as singers and dancers. At one point, they break into a huge tap-dancing production number with great accuracy. Reno’s boldly coterie of chorus girls squeals delightfully and dances with the precision of the Rockettes. A lonesome squad of sailors strolls by offering a nautical version of a barbershop quartet.

And, of course, out of Cole Porter’s creative spigot flows a stream of hit songs that have achieved immortality: "Anything Goes”, "You're the Top", "I Get a Kick Out of You", “It’s De-lovely” and “Let’s Misbehave”— just to name a few. Musical Director Christine Leah produces quality sound out of the live orchestra at the foot of the stage with a great balance among the noise of the chorus and the sound design of the pit.

While the minimalistic set & props left a lot to be desired, the show chugged along and hit all the

big notes needed to pull off the Cole Porter classic. Don’t let this ship leave port without you.

Mel Bobbermien

To keep up with the latest news and reviews at Stage Whispers, click here to like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.