Anything Goes on Broadway: How Goes It?


Anything Goes has one of the best scores in musical history, along with one of the silliest books.

Classic Cole Porter tunes like “You’re the Top” and “I Get a Kick Out of You” are dropped into a screwball shipboard plot involving people hiding, others chasing, and a dog missing, all leading up to breathless love matches wrapped up for the foofy finale.

In the current version, other Porter standards like “It’s De-Lovely” and “Easy to Love” have been added and they’re not intrusive, since the show is hardly a model of construction anyway; it’s just a glorified excuse for musicalizing and hijinks.

The Kathleen Marshall-directed-and-choreographed production is fizzy enough, especially when the two showstoppers — the title song and “Blow Gabriel Bow” — unleash dizzying tapping served with giddy joy.

But there are slowish stretches when a few not-great songs pile up in a row.

And the star?

I’ll be crucified for saying this, but Sutton Foster is a wee bit miscast as Reno Sweeney.

Unlike Merman and LuPone before her, she doesn’t summon hardboiled brassiness with ease.

But Sutton’s such a pro, with tons of spunk and a great deadpan, and on the numbers she soars and makes the mismatch less of a world crisis.

For an extra treat, there’s a male pretending to be a woman and a drunk rich guy who comes on to a sailor!

Gosh, 1934 was fun!

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 7, 2011

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