Arts & Entertainment

‘Anything Goes’ sails on shaky waters

By: Jon Hogue ~Staff Columnist~

As a part of its 2014-15 musical showcase, the Aronoff Center presented the Broadway classic, “Anything Goes.” Since 1934, “Anything Goes” has been a benchmark for theatrical excellence.

The show’s current U.S. tour is a part of the production’s sixth theatrical revival. Several revivals have received Tony Awards for their accomplishments and often play to sold-out audiences overseas. With the lyrical genius of Cole Porter at the helm of this production, it is easy to see why everything goes right with “Anything Goes.”

The story focuses on Billy Crocker, Reno Sweeney and Hope Harcourt as they sail from New York to London aboard the “SS American.” Billy, a young Wall Street broker, is looking to make a name for himself in New York. Prior to his time on Wall Street, Billy meets and falls in love with a delightful young debutante named Hope Harcourt. The young couple barely knows one another, but falls head over heels at the prospect of a life together.

From there, the plot focuses on the show’s main attraction, Reno Sweeney. Reno is a famous singer whose looks often catch a second look from the fellas. This lifestyle hurts Reno because she loves Billy, but he only views her as a friend. As the show continues, audience members are introduced to a host of memorable characters: Elisha Whitney, Hope’s wealthy and socially awkward fiancé, a third rate New York gangster and a loveable drunkard of a boss.

Despite an outdated plot and a lack of coherence among the cast, “Anything Goes” at the Aronoff proved to be glitzy, entertaining event whose classic Cole Porter score shined with every number.

Despite an outdated plot and a lack of coherence among the cast, “Anything Goes” at the Aronoff proved to be glitzy, entertaining event whose classic Cole Porter score shined with every number.

What keeps audiences coming back to “Anything Goes” is the timeless score and musical ability of the casts. This tour’s cast definitely delivered each number with ease.

Reno’s voice was the show’s main attraction during the musical number “Blow Gabriel, and Blow” and in her comedic duet with Billy in “You’re the Top.” What truly sets “Anything Goes” apart from others are dance numbers and versatility of the actors.

The title song, “Anything Goes” features an impressive tap dancing scene that makes audience members want to get up from their seats and dance.

Xavier junior Laura Kalynchuk commented that the dance numbers showed that “the cast was light on their feet and put on an entertaining performance that made the show an exciting experience.”

Apart from the show’s positive attributes, the performance had a few setbacks. The plot at times was difficult for audience members to stay engaged with and featured moments that did not logically make sense for the story. Also, the title character Billy’s voice was not as strong as Reno’s during duet performances and left the audience wanting more from his numbers.

Even with these minor flaws, the cast still brought this Broadway classic to life. And, to quote Kalynchuk, “added heat to an otherwise frigid night.” This tour of “Anything Goes” will be playing in the United States until May 31, 2015.

If you have the chance, see why this show keeps audiences coming back for more.

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