If you were to ask me what is the recipe for a perfect musical I would start with the score, followed by the dance routines, an inevitable love story, comedy, a nonsensical storyline, a twist in the tale and of course a happy ending.
Anything Goes at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre ticks all the boxes with the amazing Cole Porter classic songs sung very well by the cast, including the title number which was performed to perfection at the close of the first Act.
The choreography was amazing, and I couldn’t keep my feet still during the tap routines. The audience laughed heartily throughout the production as moments of humour highlighted how farcical traditional musicals were, synchronised swimmers appeared from nowhere during a love scene, and a host of bad disguises included one which was a beard cleverly made out of a dog’s hair. This show was definitely not going to take itself too seriously.
This musical is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year. it was first brought to the stage in the 1930ss. It was written in a time when gangsters were given celebrity status. Prohibition made for a sobering lifestyle unless the black market tempted the nation who were suffering high unemployment and poverty, even to those in high society. In spite of the great depression America began to shake off its puritan ways and started living life, and this musical captures all this new energy and puts it on stage for us to revel in. It is a good old-fashioned musical that is totally relevant to its now modern day audience.
Anything Goes is set on a steamboat heading for Europe. We are led straight into the storyline of a love-struck man who stows away on the boat to follow the love of his life who is set to marry another man who she doesn’t love. As the story unfolds we see gangsters and Evangelists, celebrity seekers and sailors and through song and dance we see the unlikely love matches unfold.
The actors played their characters so well and all were so lovable, my personal favourite was gangster Moonface Martin played by Hugh Sachs of Benidorm fame. His schemes led us through the show. Leading lady Rene Sweeney was played by the very talented Debbie Kurup, she sang all the classic songs like I get a Kick out of You with great ease and showed high energy in her dance routines. Their polished performances deserved the standing ovation they received at the end.
Anything Goes is currently at the Crucible until January 17 before heading onto the rest of the UK. I can guarantee enjoyment from this show, Its songs are delightful, the cast are delicious and overall ‘Its De-Lovely’.