Photo by Don Kellogg

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Anything Goes

I wanted it to be great.  I really did.  I wanted to walk away from the theater soaking wet - like someone opened a musical theatre fire hydrant all over me in the audience on a hot summer day. Instead, all I got were a few blasts from the sprinkler in each act - all of which wet my leaves, but never got to my roots.

Problem #1 - Joel Grey is mis-cast.  He seemed oddly out of place the entire show.   Problem #2  - The book.  It's utterly stupid.  Stupid books abound, but you gotta compensate somehow.  Problem #3 - Three rousing tap numbers that don't really go anywhere and stand-alone gems do not compensate for the aforementioned problem #2 or #1. I had such high expectations - and they promptly withered and died by 11pm (yes, it's a long show on top of everything else).  

Was Sutton Foster magnificent - absolutely, without a doubt.  She's indeed delicious, delightful and de-lovely!  Her leading man, Colin Donnell, is adorably dashing and debonair and incredibly talented in the song and dance department too. You'll have to wait the entire first act for Anything Goes, the first knock-your-socks-off, full company, full-tilt tap number that brings the house down.  The entire cast is indeed talented and very easy on the eyes, i must admit.  Right after the intermission, you'll get that barn-burner,  Blow, Gabriel, Blow, and then really nothing until the finale.   I especially enjoyed Kathleen Marshall's razzle-dazzle choreography but it felt so isolated and stand-alone-ish.  And I adore John McMartin, but he looked so incredibly lost on the stage all the time.  And sometimes he just disappeared!  There's not much else to report over the rest of the 2H:45M run time aside from a very clever and cute use of a blue spot during Be Like The Blue Bird.  ~Sigh~

Best Leading Actress - No qualms.  Best Musical Revival?  Not a chance.   This ship is more like a row boat in a lake.   I'm going to wait for the concert version with the New York Philharmonic.  Get rid of the story - and focus on all the great song and dance.  Now that would be a ship I'd buy a ticket to sail on!