January 17, 2006 > Anything Goes Review
Anything Goes Review
by Heidi Leung
Anything Goes, a 1930s based Cole Porter play, follows the antics of passengers aboard the S.S. American as it sails from New York to England. The story revolves around Billy Crocker's attempts to stop the marriage of Hope Harcourt, the love of his life, and a British Aristocrat named Sir Evelyn Oakleigh. Also onboard the S.S. American are characters such as Moonface Martin, a gangster disguised as a missionary, and his enticing sidekick Erma, Eli Whitney, Billy Crocker's boss, Reno Sweeney, a nightclub singer, and her dancing girls. Add to these characters a talented ensemble and you've got a comedic show filled with great singing and dancing.
Beautiful set design complimented talented actors and actresses who were well cast. Scott Holladay was a loveable gangster - his fumbling and desire to be a public enemy made him endearing to the audience. Sidekick Erma, played by Brianna Watson, was charming, had a great Brooklyn accent and an excellent voice. Lisa Otterstetter, who played Hope Harcourt, gave an outstanding performance as a shy and proper love interest while Tomas Theriot (Sir Evelyn Oakleigh) was a fantastic dancer and singer; his musical number was, without a doubt, one of my favorites.
Ricky Webster, who played Billy Crocker, was also impressive with his singing and dancing. Mrs. Harcourt, played by Dori Robinson, did a good job of playing a materialistic mother. Although his part was minor in some respects, Jack Larson, who played Eli Whitney, made a large impact with his comedic acting skills. He deserves a standing ovation.
The most outstanding parts of this play rely on the impact of the entire cast as an ensemble adding wonderful animation and color to the stage. At these moments, laughter comes easily and often watching facial expressions and movements of cast on stage. For the animal lovers, an absolutely adorable Shitzu plays Cheeky, Hope Harcourt's mother's dog. The adorable canine is a distraction, but a good one. Cole Porter plays are popular for a reason. This is old fashioned music, true to its time period and still lyrical, funny and easy listening to this day.
Tickets: $20 General Admission; $18 Seniors and Advance Purchase; $10 High School or Younger with ID.
Friday - Sunday, Jan. 13 - 28
Friday & Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
Newark Memorial High School
39375 Cedar Blvd., Newark
Tickets are available online at www.stage1theatre.org, at the Book End (Thornton Ave. & Cedar Blvd., Newark) or by phone (510) 791-0287