It's Delovely! Some of our favorite things about Anything Goes

Catching up on those posts that we are ridiculously behind on, Michelle and I would like to bring to you our favorite things about the current revival of Anything Goes. Michelle has seen the show twice; I've seen it three times. Between the two of us, we've managed to narrow down our list from "everything about this wonderful, entertaining show" to the following favorites. In no particular order:

  • Sutton Foster. Is this really a surprise? The woman is one of few true triple threats on Broadway. She has an amazing voice, she's a great comedic actress, and the woman can dance like nobody's business. She effortlessly leads the company in all the big dance numbers, she does splits at the drop of a hat, and then she belts out these ridiculous high notes effortlessly. And while she may not be the seductive sexpot previous Reno Sweeneys have been, there is no denying that Sutton brings her own brand of sexiness to the role. Comedy and a sense of humor are sexy, not to mention how she totally rocks the blonde wig. Michelle may have only begun to worship at the altar of Sutton Foster after seeing this show, but I've been a big fan ever since I heard her on the OBCR of Thoroughly Modern Millie. Getting to see her do her thing live on stage was truly a magical theater experience. Her second Tony Award was incredibly well-deserved.
  • Joel Grey. He is 79 years old, completely adorable, and performing on Broadway 8 times a week. He's a bonafide stage legend, and he is hilarious as Moonface Martin. Watching him perform "Friendship" - his duet with Sutton Foster's Reno Sweeney - is hysterical. They each try to one up each other in ridiculous antics to the point where they (and the audience) are almost in stitches of laughter. His "Be Like the Bluebird" is also one of the sweetest and most touching moments in the show.
  • Colin Donnell. To put it simply, this man is ridiculously charming. Tall, dark, handsome, and with a voice like a dream, his Billy Crocker is equally charming complimenting Reno in "You're the Top" as he is wooing Hope Harcourt during "De-Lovely." He's charming when he dances. He's even charming when he's being a jerk. Did we mention that he's charming? We were absolutely charmed by him.
  • The big group dance numbers. There's something about the titular Act I-ending "Anything Goes" and the Act II-opening "Blow Gabriel Blow" that is just so damn infectious, and that something is the choreography. Kathleen Marshall did a masterful job choreographing this show. The tapping in "Anything Goes" is simply ridiculous. We cannot comprehend how these actors are able to tap dance like that while singing, much less how they tap their way through the dance break only to then have to sing upon completing it. We assume they all secretly have an extra pair of lungs - one set for dancing, the other for singing. The footwork and synchronization are incredible, too; we were fortunate enough to see "Anything Goes" performed from the tenth row after rushing the show, getting standing room tickets, and then being upgraded to these awesome seats after audience members failed to show (thanks, ushers!), and it was a real treat to just get to watch their feet that closely while they were dancing. The end of Act I leaves both of us with ridiculous smiles on our faces. And the choreography in "Blow, Gabriel Blow" is just as enchanting, even if it is a completely different style. Our favorite part is when the male ensemble members are spotlit as they jump out of their chairs and join in the number. Definitely a beautiful visual.
  • The music. Cole Porter was a freaking genius, y'all. While Anything Goes may have a plot that is less than realistic, it is all held together by Porter's classic songs and fabulous score. His way with words, particularly in "You're the Top" and "De-Lovely," are simply delightful. The audience leaves the theater humming the melodies from about five different songs, and the Overture is one of my all-time favorites.
  • BONUS FAVORITE: Laura Osnes. Okay, this one's kind of cheating because Michelle never saw her in the role (and regrets this very much), but since we are both kind of obsessed with her, I figured I'd make an exception. Nothing against Erin Mackey, who has a lovely voice and is a wonderful Hope Harcourt, but there was just something about Laura Osnes in this role that was magical. She had great chemistry with Colin Donnell, and their dancing in "De-Lovely" was breathtaking. Laura Osnes also has one of the most incredible voices I've ever heard. Her legit soprano has such warmth to it, you can almost hear her smiling as she sings. Her emotion bleeds through her singing, whether her character is happy, sad, or mad. Also, the giggle/laugh thing she does on the cast recording during "De-Lovely" is the kind of adorable that puppies, bunny rabbits, rainbows, and unicorns are made of. Basically, we love her, and her Hope Harcourt was a delight to watch.
Anything Goes is currently playing at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre. Don't miss this wonderful show!


Darci said...

I'll say this much ... I saw this show 18 times (so far) and it still isn't old. I still laugh at the jokes, still in awe of the dancing (I admit, I might keep going back JUST for Anything Goes and Blow, Gabriel, Blow. Still in awe. every. time.) Oh, and Friendship is SO different every time. Joel just to make Sutton laugh on purpose. I've seen him succeed more than once! Poor Sutton, she might as well give that one up, he's a master at ab libbing. Although Sutton has thrown her curve balls towards Joel too. I love these two live on stage. They need a whole show together. Just them two. Improving the whole thing. I wouldn't miss a show.

This show is pure old-fashioned fun. This show served as my escape from how much I hated my school last semester. It never failed to cheer me up. :) Can't wait to go back a few more times before its final sail in April!

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