Kate Herbert is theatre reviewer, Herald Sun, Melbourne & formerly for Melbourne Times. Kate is a director & produced playwright (20 plays). Scripts published by Currency Press. She worked as an actor, comedian, improviser & teacher of Acting, Improvisation & Playwriting. Kate is currently Convenor of Professional Writing & Editing, Swinburne University. Read her reviews here or at: www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/arts. NB Explorer Browser doesn't always work on blog.
Sunday, 31 May 2015
Anything Goes REVIEW, May 31, 2015 ****
Music & Lyrics by Cole Porter
Original Book by P.G. Wodehouse, Guy Bolton,
Howard Lindsay, Russell Crouse
New Book by Timothy Crouse & John Weidman
Produced by John Frost & Opera Australia Princess Theatre, from May 31, 2015 Brisbane from July 28 & Sydney from Sept 8 Reviewer: Kate Herbert on Sunday, May 31, 2015 Stars: **** Review also in Herald Sun NEWS & Arts Online on Mon June 1, 2015. KH
Pic by Joe Calleri
Porter’s 1934 musical, Anything Goes, is a deliciously effervescent soda pop
laced with a sharp shot of bourbon.
O’Connor is the big fizz in this production, bringing her formidable singin’
and dancin’ talent and idiosyncratic characterisation to the role of Reno
Sweeney, a vivacious club singer who moonlights as a dodgy but sexy evangelist.
Bryant’s stylish production, with exuberant choreography by Andrew Hallsworth,
features a chorus of sassy showgirls and tap-dancing sailors on board the S.S. American en route from New York to England.
incomparably witty lyrics, cunning rhymes and singable melodies bring to life
this tale of unrequited love, mistaken
identities, screwball comedy and happy endings – the perfect antidote to the blues
of Depression Era America.
gags come thick and fast accompanied by racy dialogue peppered with innuendo,
loose morals, hard drinking, religious satire and unashamed racial stereotypes.
delivers I Get A Kick Out Of You with impeccable timing, vocal quality and detail
in her performance of both lyrics and tune, then combines pretty tones and
boldly belting notes in You’re The Top, her peppy duet with Alex Rathgeber.
an audacious, almost blasphemous version of Blow, Gabriel, Blow, O’Connor and
the dynamic chorus lift the roof with the impudent crowd-pleaser, Anything
Goes, that boasts an arduous and percussive, 7-minute tap routine at the close of
charming presence and bright vocal tone are ideal for young stockbroker, Billy
Crocker, the lovelorn stowaway who disguises
himself as Public Enemy Number One to avoid discovery.
Meanwhile, he pursues the heart and
hand of debutante, Hope Harcourt, played with restraint and a sweet
voice by Claire
Scott Kermond as gangster-on-the-run, Moonface Martin, almost steals
scenes with his rubbery physique and clown antics,
and his Vaudevillian-style duet with O’Connor, Friendship, is a comic and
McKenney is delightfully foppish as upper class, British twit, Lord Evelyn
Oakleigh, relentlessly milking gags until they are dry.
Bartholomew John is entertainingly gruff and sozzled as Elisha Whitney, a
wealthy, drunken stockbroker who chases old flame, Evangeline Harcourt (Carmen Duncan),
Hope’s grasping mother.
Krizak is comically seductive as Erma, the gangster moll, and Gerry Connolly is the
blundering and very camp Captain who parades gangsters before his socialite passengers to appease
their rapacious desire for on board celebrities.
are some scene crosses in Act One that need tightening and occasional dialogue
that is too slowly cued, but Anything Goes, despite being over 80-years old, is
still De-lightful, De-licious and