“Anything Goes” – a fun-filled musical coming to the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Los Angeles theater review

Photo by Joan Marcus
Photo by Joan Marcus

Wall-to-wall hit tunes, ear-to-ear grin all night long F U N ! – Cole Porter’s timeless classic musical theater masterpiece, Anything Goes, is about to set sail at the Segerstrom Hall.  This lively Broadway revival runs 9/24/2013 – 9/29/2013.

Tickets start at $20.00. Orchestra seat prices vary, up to $99.00 each – info on dates & times here.

Throughout the run of Roundabout Theatre Company’s Anything Goes at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, audiences can expect high seas adventure and excitement with pre-show activities planned by Center staff. One hour prior to all performances, there will be “You’re The Tap” demo lessons offered by tap dance artist and former Summer at the Center staff member, Ashley Rentfro. A dance area will be available to those who wish to join in and share their splendid dance moves.

Their “Screen & Stage” exhibit will make its debut at this time. Throughout the 2013 ‒ 2014 season, this display will feature memorabilia and enlightening background information pertaining to the shows in their Broadway and Curtain Call Series.

Previously reviewed:

The fluffy, madcap and satirical storyline concerns a young man Billy Crocker (Erich Bergen) who is in love with an ingénue Hope Harcourt (Alex Finke). The obstacle to their romance is that she is betrothed to a wealthy Brit, Lord Evelyn Oakleigh (Edward Staudenmayer) – a union that her gold-digging mother Mrs. Evangeline Harcourt (Sandra Shipley) is eager to secure. Meanwhile, a gangster named Moonface Martin (Fred Applegate) – humiliatingly only listed as Public Enemy #13 – and his moll Erma (Joyce Chittick) are on board, as well as a handful of other characters, including our hero’s friend, nightclub singer Reno Sweeney – a brassy, older woman who gives him hard-boiled advice, played superbly by Rachel York.

Photo by Joan Marcus.

The show is mostly set at sea, on a transatlantic voyage from New York to London, although a scene in an exceptionally well-stocked bar precedes the reveal of the spacious set representing the main deck of an immense, three-funneled ocean liner on which the action takes place thereafter.


Cole Porter composed the music and lyrics for Anything Goes in 1934. The original book was a collaborative effort by Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse, and later heavily revised by the team of Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. This current production was reworked by librettist John Weidman and Timothy Crouse (Russel’s son) in 1987 for a Broadway revival. Notably, the pair stepped up the pace and balanced songs and dance numbers with an equal measure of dialogue. Director/Choreographer Kathleen Marshall earned a Tony award for her vibrant choreography in 2011.

The musical introduced such songs as “Anything Goes”, “You’re the Top” and “I Get a Kick Out of You.”

Apparently several hit tunes were later added to the original score which explains why the show feels a bit like Cole Porter’s greatest hits.

Of course there’s only a slim storyline linking all the song and dance numbers and, despite a few obstacles, several couples are paired off for the obligatory, sunny happy ending. An extended tap sequence involving the entire cast at the end of Act One is a highlight.

Also of note is the splendid original scenic design from Derek McLane and the gorgeous period costumes courtesy of Martin Pakledinaz. Erma’s white and lime green travelling suit is especially eye catching, managing to be both chic and brassy at the same time, not to forget the numerous elegant and swanky silk gowns for our leading lady Rachel York.

Despite its racy themes (Moonface’s moll Erma proves quite popular with the sailors) Anything Goes is a fun show to bring even a tween kid to see.


Photos by Joan Marcus.

Photo by Joan Marcus.


Anything Goes

Segerstrom Hall. 

Runs 9/24/2013 – 9/29/2013.

More info here.

Photo by Joan Marcus.






Pauline Adamek

Pauline Adamek is a Los Angeles-based arts enthusiast with twenty-five years' experience covering International Film Festivals and reviewing new Theatre, Film and Restaurants.


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