All aboard! Cole Porter’s timeless musical Anything Goes is in town.
Its 1934 and in a dimly lit Manhattan bar patrons are making the most of happy hour. Wall Street stockbroker Elisha Whitney nurses his drink and ponders a business deal which requires him to travel to London aboard the SS American the following day. His assistant (Billy Crocker) brings him his travel documents but has forgotten Whitney’s passport! He promises to bring it to the port in the morning. As Billy is leaving he bumps into his old friend Reno Sweeney, a nightclub singer who will also be travelling on the SS American as an entertainer. The following day Billy arrives at the port to see his boss and Reno off. Whilst there he catches a glimpse of a girl he fell in love with months earlier in a taxi, heiress Hope Harcourt. Hope is travelling to London on the SS American with her mother and her English fiance, aristocrat Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. With the help of some low-ranking gangsters, Billy stows away on the ship in a bid to win Hope’s heart. What ensues is a tale of mistaken identities, foiled plots, romance and hilarious antics on the high seas, all backed by a sparkling musical score and some of the best tap dancing on stage.
The current production stars Caroline O’Connor as Reno Sweeney and Todd McKenney as Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. Caroline O’Connor recently won the 2015 Helpmann Award for Best Female Actor in a Musical and it was easy to see why – she has a brilliant voice and her tap dancing was mesmerising. The role of Lord Evelyn Oakleigh was played by Jan Di Pietro for our performance, and although he was fantastic, I was a little bit miffed that I didn’t get to see the great Todd McKenney on stage. Maybe next time.
Anything Goes is showing at Lyric Theatre (QPAC) until the 16th of August 2015 (you can buy your tickets here). And don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for Strictly Ballroom and the classic Les Miserables, both of which are heading to Brisbane from September 2015.
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