"It's de-lightful, it's de-licious, it's de-lovely," which is the exact sentiment I thought when on Wednesday, January 25, 2012, I once again boarded the S.S. American and set sail for a most wonderful trip, Roundabout Theatre Company's production of the Tony Award winning revival of "Anything Goes." I wanted to revisit this show mainly because one of my favorite performers just joined the cast, the one and only Julie Halston, but also because it gave me the chance to see my friends Raymond J. Lee and Ward Billeisen continue to shine brightly!
This time around, "Anything Goes" was just as enjoyable, if not more, than the first time I took it in. The show continues to star Tony Award winners Sutton Foster as "Reno Sweeney" and Joel Grey as "Moonface Martin" along with John McMartin as "Elisha Whitney," Robert Creighton as "Pursuer," Ray Lee as "John," Andrew Cao as "Luke," and Jessica Stone as "Erma." Each of them have embodied their characters even more! Sutton's voice is still golden as are her show-stopping dance moves! The comedic genius of Joel, John, Robert, Ray, Andrew, and Jessica were even more evident this time around. They each continued to get the laugh over and over again.
New to the cast was Bill English as "Billy Crocker," Erin Mackey as "Hope Harcourt," and Julie Halston as "Mrs. Evangeline Harcourt." All three were great additions to the cast! Bill brought a delightful charm and sexiness to the role of "Billy," while Erin brought her own charm, beauty, and elegance to the role of "Hope." Both of their voices were also quite enjoyable to listen to. Bringing Julie Halston aboard was one of the best casting choices possible. Julie's brilliant comedic talent and timing is perfect for the role of "Mrs. Evangeline Harcourt." Whether it's as subtle as a look or in the delivery of her lines, Julie always knows how and when to get the laugh, and get it, she does!
My favorite part of "Anything Goes" continues to be the Act I finale, when Sutton and the cast dance and sing "Anything Goes." The staging of this number is brilliant! From the placement of the actors to the lighting to the energy, it's pure delight to watch. It's moments like this that make my theatre going experience a truly remarkable one. There is nothing quite like watching this moment live, getting to see each and every actor have their moment in the spotlight, while still making it a full cast number. The Act I finale ends on such a high note that it made me that much more eager for the start of Act II.
So, if you are looking for a feel good musical, with comedy and an extremely talented cast, then I would highly sugget making "Anything Goes" your next getaway! "Anything Goes" plays at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre in NYC (124 West 43rd Street, between Broadway & 6th Avenue) through September 9. Click here for tickets!