Theatre Mirror Reviews-"Anything Goes"

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide


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entire contents copyright 2012 by Tony Annicone

"Anything Goes"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

Bay Colony Productions current show is Cole Porter's 1934 musical, "Anything Goes". Originally written for Ethel Merman, the show's libretto was revised in 1962 and again in 1987. Director Dori Bryan Ployer uses the 1962 libretto to create this high energy musical. The show takes place in the 1930's aboard the luxury liner S.S. America, sailing from New York to England with a group of unusual passengers. The story of boy, Billy Crocker, who loves girl, Hope Harcourt, who is engaged to wealthy British suitor, Lord Evelyn, who is pursued by singing and dancing evangelist, Reno Sweeney, is the basic storyline. Throw in boy's heavy drinking boss, girl's domineering mother, public enemy # 13, his sexy gun moll, Reno's 6 fallen Angels, the captain, his sailors and passengers to complete the cast plus fabulous choreography by Dori and fantastic musical accompaniment by Janice Issa-Wright and you have a marvelous evening of entertainment. They are rewarded with a spontaneous standing ovation at the close of the show.

Dori blocks the show beautifully. She creates some picture post card moments throughout the show as well as in her dance numbers, too. She keeps the pacing of the dialogue crisp and fresh. Some of Dori's dance numbers include tap, kick-line, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dance, the Charleston, soft shoe and many others. The two show stopping numbers are the tap dancing "Anything Goes" in Act 1 and the gospel revival dance number "Blow, Gabriel, Blow" in Act 2. Music director Jancie not only conducts the topnotch 6 member orchestra, plays the piano and obtains gorgeous harmonies in the group numbers "Bon Voyage", "Public Enemy Number One", the title song, "Blow, Gabriel, Blow", "It's Delovely" and "Take Me Back to Manhattan". The duets and trios sound excellent, too.

Leading this cast is gorgeous, Marissa Silva who plays Reno Sweeney and delivers her many funny one liners perfectly. She is phenomenal in this role. Marissa is very sultry as Reno and possesses a strong belting voice. Her many songs include "You're the Top", "Anything Goes", "Friendship" " and "Take Me Back to Manhattan" with her girls. However it is in her ballad "I Get a Kick Out of You" about loving Sir Evelyn that she tugs at your heartstrings and brings out the tender side of this tough as nails character. The fantastic leading man, Adam Joy is another triple threat performer who handles the role of Billy Crocker with the ease of a well seasoned pro. Adam shows the audience his comic shtick wonderfully and displays his powerful tenor voice in "You're the Top", "It's Delovely" and "Friendship" as well as in the romantic ballad "All Through the Night". He shows off his dancing prowess in "You're the Top" with Marissa, "It's Delovely" with Tara Feely as Hope and the chorus and "Friendship" with Marissa and Bill Roberts as Moonface. His many comic disguises are funny as he tries to elude being captured by the Purser. Two topnotch performers as leads in this show. Bravo.

The lovely, Tara Feely plays Hope, the fiancee of Sir Evelyn who is really in love with Billy. Tara's wonderful soprano voice is heard in the romantic duet, "It's Delovely" and the plaintive, "All Through the Night". She shows off her dancing skills in the romantic duet, in the gospel number and in the finale of the show. Steve Dooner is a hoot as the prim and proper, Sir Evelyn who misunderstands American sayings. He has a wonderful British accent and gets to show the bawdy side of his character in "Let's Misbehave" with Marissa. Steve is a hoot in this role.Two other scene stealers are Bill Roberts as Moonface and Michelle Conti as Bonnie. Bill is excellent as public enemy #13. His New York accent and his behavior as this comic hoodlum is hilarious. "Friendship" and especially "Be Like the Bluebird" are laugh out loud moments. Blonde haired Michelle is a gorgeous gal who plays the dumb blonde gun moll perfectly. She wears her hair in banana curls and uses a Betty Boop voice as this dim bulb. Michelle is topnotch as this sexy vamp who all the sailors love madly. Michelle gets to display her dancing prowess and strut her stuff and sing in 'Heaven Hop" where she and the Angels do a tap dance and in "Let's Step Out" while leading them in a Charleston.

Cat Umano, Elise Blanchard, Audrey Catalano, Abbey Sitte, Christina Kelly and Rosie Carey are the singing and tap dancing Angels. Mrs. Harcourt, Hope's snobby mother is well played by Jen Maronn while Francis Sheehan plays the role of Billy's drunken, Mr. Whitney. The stern captain is Josh Morrison with Shane Walsh as the Purser while Chelsea Cavagnaro and Christina Kelly are hoots as Ching and Ling who cheat at poker on board the ship. Kudos to all the other cast members who make this into an entertaining evening of a topnotch production of "Anything Goes" in Foxboro. Make sure you catch this show before it dances its way out of town.

"Anything Goes" (2 - 12 August)
@ Orpheum Theatre, 1 School Street, FOXBORO MA

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide