Everything old and scintillating is new and revitalized again in Goodspeed Musicals season opener, Anything Goes, the 1934 Cole Porter song-and-dance hit. It’s on from April 8 – June 16 at the two-time, Tony Award-winning Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Connecticut.
It promises to be a “delightful, delicious and de-lovely” romp with some of Cole Porter’s most famous songs – melodies you most likely will be humming all the way home – “I Get a Kick Out of You,” “You’re the Top,” “It’s De-Lovely,” “Blow, Gabriel, Blow” and the title song, “Anything Goes.”
The story revolves around a brassy nightclub singer, a starry-eyed stowaway and Public Enemy No. 13, who are booked on a transatlantic luxury liner. Kind of like a Celebrity cruise on speed.
The irrepressible Reno Sweeney will be played by Rashidra Scott, who is currently performing on Broadway as Janelle in Beautiful the Carole King Musical. Her other Broadway credits include Avenue Q, Finian’s Rainbow, Hair and Sister Act.
Billy Crocker will be played by Australian award-winning performer David Harris, whose credits include Into the Woods, Beauty and the Beast, and Legally Blonde. Stephen DeRosa, recently in On The Town on Broadway will play Moonface Martin, and Denise Lute-who has been seen at the Goodspeed in Mame and Showboat, will play Mrs. Wadsworth T. Harcourt.
Playing Erma is Desiree Davar, and Hannah Florence plays Hope Harcourt. Rounding out the cast is Benjamin Howes as Sir Evelyn Oakleigh; Kinglsey Leggs as Elisha J. Whitney; Patrick Richwood as the Purser; and, as always at Goodspeed, a talented ensemble of singers, dancers and actors who do it all on a stage the size of a first-class postage stamp.
Anything Goes will be directed by Daniel Goldstein, who directed the hit Goodspeed productions of Damn Yankees and Hello, Dolly!. On Broadway, Mr. Goldstein helmed the award-winning revival of Godspell. Choreography will be by Kelli Barclay who was Associate Choreographer for Broadway’s Irving Berlin’s White Christmas and Assistant Choreographer for Broadway’s 42nd Street. She also choreographed Goodspeed’s Damn Yankees; Hello, Dolly! ; My One And Only; and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying as well as Hello!, My Baby at Goodspeed’s Norma Terris Theatre in nearby Chester, CT. Doubtless you’ll be cheering her troupe of one-two-three-kick dancers.
Wilson Chin, who served as an associate/assistant designer to Santo Loquasto on nineteen productions, and was an associate designer on the Broadway production of Fiddler on the Roof is Scenic Designer for this production. Costumes will be designed by Ilona Somogyi , and Lighting Design will be by Brian Tovar, who designed Goodspeed’s production of Damn Yankees in 2014. Hair and Wig Design will be by Mark Adam Rampmeyer, whose work has been seen at The Goodspeed in last summer’s smash hit La Cage aux Folles, The Most Happy Fella, Good News!, Something’s Afoot, 42nd Street, Big River and Half a Sixpence, to name a few. Sound Design will be by Jay Hilton, who is in his 31st hit season at Goodspeed.
The Music Director for Anything Goes will be maestro Michael O’Flaherty, last seen at the Bushnell guest conducting the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. Michael is in his 25thseason as Goodspeed’s Resident Music Director. William J. Thomas, who also plays a mean piano, will be assistant music director. Orchestrations will be provided by Dan DeLange, who has created the orchestrations for numerous Goodspeed productions.
Anything Goes will run April 8 through June 16, 2016 Curtain times are Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Thursday at 7:30 p.m. (with select performances at 2:00 p.m.), Friday at 8:00 p.m., Saturday at 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. (with select performances at 6:30 p.m.). Call 860-873-8668 for tickets and subscriptions for the five musicals being presented this season and find the entire season’s schedule for the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam CT, and The Norma Terris Theatre in nearby Chester, CT. visit goodspeed.org. It’s guaranteed that “You’ll Get a Kick” out of all the musicals at both theaters this season.
A delightful surprise for theater-loving visitors: the majestic 1878 Goodspeed Opera House and campus is in a lovely and historic village on the banks of the lower Connecticut River. Nearby in Chester is the Goodspeed’s Norma Terris Theatre, which produces full-mounted musicals-in-development as well as re-imagined classic musicals.
In addition to the two great theaters, many fine restaurants, luxury hotels and B&Bs, the unspoiled country side is worth exploring: Gillette Castle and museum, built by the late actor William Gillette, who created the part of Sherlock Holmes on the stage in the 19th century and played it for forty years, including in a silent film version. These treasures are all well-worth a visit to the region that has been designated one of America’s Last Great Places by the Nature Conservancy. http://goodspeed.org/plan-your-visit/day-trips-weekend-getaways