“I want to join your happy band, and play all day in the Promised Land.”
This hit Broadway musical, which closed its doors this past summer, will take its New York success and hit the streets. The show is Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes,” which just completed its second Broadway revival at New York’s Stephen Sondheim Theatre.
This current version, which won 3 Tony Awards for its 2011 season, is heading off on its first national tour, kicking off at Cleveland’s PlayhouseSquare. From Cleveland, the show is scheduled to play 25 cities, including Tampa, Los Angeles, Durham, Pittsburgh, Washington D.C., St. Paul, Costa Mesa, San Francisco, Dallas, Tucson, and Schenectady.
The 2011 Broadway show was directed and choreographed by Tony Award-winner Kathleen Marshall, who is also tackling the national tour. Marshall is very pleased with her hand-picked touring cast. The cast includes Rachel York as Reno Sweeney, Fred Applegate as Moonface Martin, Erich Bergen as Billy Crocker and Alex Finke as Hope Harcourt, plus Jeff Brooks, Joyce Chittick, Dennis Kelly, Vincent Rodriguez III, Marcus Shane, Sandra Shipley, Edward Staudenmayer, and Chuck Wagner.
York is no stranger to the stage, or to the role of Reno, which is one she’s played before — twice. “It’s a role that’s always fit me like a glove, I think,” as York, who played Reno in Los Angeles in 2002 and again in Kansas City, MO in 2009, told the Huffington Post.
“Anything Goes” has seen two previous Broadway revivals (in 1987 and in 2011), following a 1960s off-Broadway revival. The show debuted in 1934, starring Ethel Merman, William Gaxton and Victor Moore, and has only gotten better since.
“There’s never a dull moment in ‘Anything Goes, ‘” according to BroadwayTour.net. “And with a title like that, expect delightful music and dazzling dancing throughout the show.”
Marshall gathered the entire cast and crew of the tour on Labor Day weekend for what Mark Kennedy of the Huffington Post described as a history lesson. Marshall shared some stories on the show’s past, hoping to excite everyone involved in her upcoming production. “It behaves like a classic farce,” she described. “It takes a bunch of wonderful, vivid, interesting and compelling characters and puts them in one place over a short period of time.” In this case, only a few days, spent aboard a transatlantic liner.
With music and lyrics by Cole Porter, the show features a number of his classic pieces like “You’re the Top,” “Blow, Gabriel, Blow,” and “I Get a Kick Out of You.”
The 2011 revival received 9 Tony nominations, taking home three for Best Musical Revival, Best Choreography, and Best Performance by a Leading Actress (for Sutton Foster). These were almost the exact same awards the show won for its last revival in 1987. In 2011, the show also received 5 Drama Desk awards, and a Grammy nomination for the musical’s show album.
“Anything Goes” marks the Roundabout’s second national tour since the organization began in 1965, and is the first musical to tour. The tour finishes up in Cleveland, OH this weekend and will have its first performance in East Lansing, MI on Tuesday, October 16.