Anything L.A. Liberal Magazine
Aug 082012
Update on Anything Goes at Ahmanson Theatre


ADDITIONAL CASTING ANNOUNCED FOR TONY-WINNING “ANYTHING GOES” AT THE CTG/AHMANSON THEATRE Performances of the Broadway Musical Masterpiece Begin in Los Angeles November 27

Additional casting has been announced for the upcoming national tour of Roundabout Theatre Company’s “Anything Goes,” at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. The new Broadway revival of Cole Porter’s timeless classic musical theatre masterpiece begins performances November 27, 2012, and continues through January 6, 2013. Opening is scheduled for November 28.

Previously announced actress Rachel York will star as Reno Sweeney and will be joined by Fred Applegate as Moonface Martin. The principal cast also includes Erich Bergen as Billy Crocker, Jeff Brooks as Purser, Joyce Chittick as Erma, Alex Finke as Hope Harcourt, Dennis Kelly as Elisha Whitney, Vincent Rodriguez III as Luke, Marcus Shane as John, Sandra Shipley as Mrs. Evangeline Harcourt, Edward Staudenmayer as Sir Evelyn Oakleigh, and Chuck Wagner as Captain.

The ensemble includes Jeremy Benton, Jacqueline Burtney, Jan Leigh Herndon, Kristie Kerwin, Gary Lindemann, Dionna Thomas Littleton, Michael Milton, Ashley Peacock, Bobby Pestka, Courtney Rottenberger, Vanessa Sonon, Kristopher Thompson-Bolden, Aaron Umsted, Mackenzie Warren, Sean Watkins, Audrey Cardwell, Alexandra Matteo, Sean McKnight, and Tony Neidenbach. Additional casting will be announced soon.

Winner of the 2011 Tony Award® for Best Revival of a Musical, Roundabout Theatre Company’s “Anything Goes” sails direct from Broadway under the direction of Kathleen Marshall, who won the 2011 Tony Award® for Best Choreography.  The New York Times calls it “a zesty new revival with knockout numbers and white-hot dancing” while the AP exclaims that it’s, “so delightful, so delicious, so de-lovely!”

Roundabout Theatre Company’s “Anything Goes” features music and lyrics by Cole Porter; original book by P.G. Wodehouse & Guy Bolton and Howard Lindsay & Russel Crouse; and new book by Timothy Crouse and John Weidman. The creative team includes music direction by Phil Reno with additional orchestrations by Bill Elliot, original scenic design by Derek McLane, costumes by Martin Pakledinaz, lighting design by Howell Binkley and sound design by Brian Ronan.

Cole Porter’s roundup of nostalgic hits in the production include “You’re the Top,” “Friendship,” “I Get a Kick Out of You,” “It’s De-Lovely,” “Blow, Gabriel, Blow” and, of course “Anything Goes.” The National Tour of Roundabout Theatre Company’s “Anything Goes” is dedicated to the memory of Martin Pakledinaz, a beloved member of the Roundabout Theatre Company family.  Roundabout Theatre Company’s “Anything Goes” will travel to more than twenty-one cities during the 2012-2013 season.

“Anything Goes,” the 1934 musical comedy about the lovers, liars and clowns on a transatlantic cruise is “a daffy, shipshape romp!” (Variety). When the S.S. American heads out to sea, etiquette and convention head out the portholes as two unlikely pairs set off on the course to true love… proving that sometimes destiny needs a little help from a crew of singing sailors, an exotic disguise and some good old-fashioned blackmail.

The New Broadway Cast Recording of Roundabout Theatre Company’s “Anything Goes,” nominated for a 2011 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album, is available on Ghostlight Records. For tickets and information, please go to, the Center Theatre Group box office located at the Ahmanson Theatre, or call (213) 972-4400.

BIOGRAPHIES KATHLEEN MARSHALL received 2011 Tony®, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Awards for choreography and Tony®, Drama Desk and Outer Critics nominations for direction for Roundabout Theatre Company’s “Anything Goes.” Also for Roundabout, Kathleen directed and choreographed “The Pajama Game” and choreographed “Follies” and “1776.”

Other Broadway credits include “Wonderful Town”; “Grease”; “Boeing-Boeing”; “Little Shop of Horrors”; “Seussical”; “Kiss Me, Kate”; and “Swinging on a Star.” Off-Broadway: “Two Gentlemen of Verona” (New York Shakespeare Festival), “Saturday Night” (Second Stage), “Violet” (Playwrights Horizons) and “As Thousands Cheer” (Drama Dept). City Center Encores!: “Bells Are Ringing,” “Applause,” “Carnival,” “Hair” and “Babes in Arms”; Artistic Director for four seasons. For ABC/Disney: “Once Upon a Mattress” and Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man” (Emmy nomination). She has received two Tony® Awards, two Drama Desk Awards, two Outer Critics Circle Awards, the Astaire Award, the George Abbott Award, the Richard Rodgers Award and the Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for the Arts. Ms. Marshall is the Vice President of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and is an Associate Artist of the Roundabout Theatre Company. For Scott, Ella and Nathaniel.

ROUNDABOUT THEATRE COMPANY (Todd Haimes, Artistic Director) was most recently represented across the country with the critically acclaimed, multi-award-winning national tour of “Twelve Angry Men” that toured the country for 2 years, spending 63 weeks across the United States and Canada. Roundabout’s longest-running musical, the revival of “Cabaret,” received a multi-year tour across the country beginning in 1999. In 2011, Roundabout Theatre Company’s acclaimed work reached a worldwide cinema audience with the HD capture and broadcast of their Tony nominated production of “The Importance of Being Earnest,” starring Brian Bedford. Now in its 46th season, Roundabout has become one of New York City’s most accomplished cultural institutions and one of the country’s largest not-for-profit theatre companies. With four theatres both on Broadway and off, Roundabout reaches over 600,000 theater goers annually, including over 35,000 subscribers, through award-winning productions of classical and contemporary plays and musicals. In addition to providing an artistic home for many of the finest actors, playwrights, composers and directors of our time, Roundabout is home to model education and outreach programs designed to diversify and develop the theatre’s audiences. With four distinctive homes, the American Airlines Theatre, Studio 54 and the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre, site of the Laura Pels Theatre and Black Box Theatre, Roundabout has the unique ability to do high-quality, professional stagings of work in a venue perfectly suited to enhance each production. Roundabout also programs the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, where its 2011 Tony Award winning production of “Anything Goes” played. Since moving to Broadway 20 years ago, Roundabout productions have received 181 Tony® nominations, 174 Drama Desk nominations and 195 Outer Critics Circle nominations. Production highlights include “Anna Christie,” “She Loves Me,” “A View from the Bridge,” “1776,” “Nine,” “Assassins,” “Intimate Apparel,” “The Understudy,” “The Pajama Game,” “Sunday in the Park with George,” “Waiting for Godot,” “The Importance of Being Earnest” and “Cabaret”, one of the longest-running musical revivals in Broadway history.

COLE PORTER (Music & Lyrics) was born in Peru, Indiana, in 1891. He graduated from Yale, where his football songs are still popular. After the failure of his first Broadway show, he lived in Europe, where he married legendary beauty Linda Lee Thomas. Returning to New York in the late 1920s he gained renown for many great songs, including “Night and Day,” “Begin the Beguine,” “You’re the Top” and “I Get a Kick Out of You.” His 1930s were highlighted by such Broadway offerings as “Anything Goes,” “Gay Divorce” and “Jubilee.” A crippling riding accident in 1937 left him in constant pain, yet he continued to write memorable scores, among them “Can-Can,” “Silk Stockings” and his masterpiece, “Kiss Me, Kate.” He died in 1964.

GUY BOLTON (1884-1979) and P.G. WODEHOUSE (1881-1975) were both born in England. They were introduced by Jerome Kern, and he suggested they all work together. They did, tirelessly, and in the beginning of their collaboration wrote nearly one show per month — the famed Princess Theatre musicals. Bolton and Wodehouse went on to write more than 20 musicals together. Usually, they collaborated on the book, and Wodehouse wrote the lyrics. Both lived into their nineties, and both, together and individually, were astoundingly prolific. Bolton, with one collaborator or another, or on his own, had a hand in well over 100 musicals and straight plays as well as numerous film scripts and novels. Wodehouse wrote 97 books — most notably the “Jeeves” novels — and countless short stories, articles, essays and films, and in 1975 was knighted side by side with Charlie Chaplin. In addition to “Anything Goes”, their work together includes “Have A Heart”; “Oh! Boy”; “Leave It to Jane”; “Oh, Lady! Lady!!”; “Sitting Pretty”; “Oh, Kay!” and “Rosalie.” They remained friends and neighbors (in Remsenburg, NY) throughout their final days.

HOWARD LINDSAY & RUSSEL CROUSE (Co-Authors of the Original Book). The Lindsay and Crouse partnership stands today as the longest collaboration of any writers in theatrical history, lasting for more than 28 years. They first joined forces in 1934, when the producer Vinton Freedley brought them together to rewrite the libretto for “Anything Goes” (which Lindsay directed). Two years later, they wrote another Cole Porter show, “Red, Hot and Blue.” Their first straight play, “Life With Father,” opened in 1939 and holds the record for the longest-running play on Broadway, at 3,224 performances. Lindsay and his wife, Dorothy Stickney, created the roles of Clarence and Vinnie Day, performing them for five years. Among other shows, Lindsay and Crouse also wrote “The Sound of Music” (score by Rodgers and Hammerstein); the Pulitzer Prize-winning “State of the Union”; “Call Me Madam” and “Mr. President” (scores by Irving Berlin); “The Prescott Proposals” and “The Great Sebastians.” They produced “The Hasty Heart,” “Detective Story” and “Arsenic and Old Lace.” Howard Lindsay (1889-1968) was an actor, stage manager, director and playwright before teaming up with Crouse. Russel Crouse (1893-1966) was a newspaperman, a press agent for the Theatre Guild, the author of several books and a librettist before partnering with Lindsay. He later produced, in collaboration with his wife, Anna Erskine Crouse, a son, the writer Timothy Crouse, and a daughter, the actress Lindsay Crouse.

TIMOTHY CROUSE (Co-author of the New Book) has been a contributing editor of Rolling Stone and the Village Voice, as well as the Washington columnist for Esquire, writing numerous articles for these and other publications, including the New Yorker. He is the author of “The Boys on the Bus,” a classic account of the role of the press in presidential campaigns. With Luc Brébion he translated Roger Martin du Gard’s “Lieutenant-Colonel de Maumort” (Knopf, 2000). He is currently writing short stories, one of which, “Sphinxes,” was included in the “O. Henry Prize Stories 2005.” He is the son of one of the original authors of “Anything Goes,” Russel Crouse.

JOHN WEIDMAN (New Book) has written the books for a wide variety of musicals, among them “Pacific Overtures,” “Assassins” and “Road Show,” all with scores by Stephen Sondheim; “Contact,” co-created with director/choreographer Susan Stroman; “Happiness,” score by Scott    Frankel and Michael Korie, directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman; and “Take Flight” and “Big,” scores by Richard Maltby Jr. and David Shire. Since his children were pre-schoolers, Weidman has written for “Sesame Street,” receiving more than a dozen Emmy Awards for Outstanding Writing for a Children’s Program. From 1999 to 2009 he served as president of the Dramatists Guild of America.