"Anything Goes" at the Court This Summer
MEDIA RELEASE – The Court Theatre
One of the world’s greatest musical comedies is going full steam ahead at The Court Theatre, with ANYTHING GOES opening on November 21st.
The bulk of ANYTHING GOES takes place on the U.S.S. American, a luxury cruise liner bound from New York to London. When Billy Crocker (Roy Snow) stows away to pursue a romance with heiress Hope Harcourt (Hannah Wheeler) he sets off a chain reaction of comedic consequences and mistaken identities amongst a collection of missionaries, millionaires, singers, sailors and gangsters.
ANYTHING GOES debuted in 1934, with music and lyrics by Cole Porter and a script by Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse, with revisions by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. The show was a box-office smash and became one of the longest-running musicals of the 1930s.
Director and choreographer Sandra Rasmussen believes the light-hearted exuberance of ANYTHING GOES makes the show “the perfect choice for the times: fabulous music, hilarity and fun – it brings joy to audiences”.
Musical director Richard Marrett has adapted the classic score of ANYTHING GOES to accommodate five musicians (including Marrett in a double role as conductor and pianist) and has found the cast “inspiring” to work with. The show has a personal relevance to Marrett: ANYTHING GOES was the first musical that he played in, launching his career in musical theatre.
With eighteen performers (and one canine) on The Court’s stage, casting was crucial to Rasmussen. “My priority was to find great actors first – people who can take us on an emotional journey with the characters. We were very lucky in that we found people who can act, sing and even complete the rare ‘triple threat’: act, sing AND dance.”
For Steven Ray (last on stage in THE PRODUCERS), playing “Public Enemy #13” Moonface Martin in ANYTHING GOES has meant brushing up on his tap-dancing “with help from the younger, fitter cast members” Jude Gibson finds her role as Reno Sweeney an enjoyable contrast to her last role at The Court (a jilted wife in the drama HONOUR) and believes ANYTHING GOES is “a great piece of escapist fun: the perfect cure for the blues”
To match the high-speed hi-jinks of the script, Tony Geddes has designed a set that will allow for rapid shifts in location – from the docks of New York and various locales on board the luxury liner to an English estate. Rasmussen praises Geddes’ “amazing brain that once again solves the Rubik’s cube of staging such a big musical on The Court’s stage”.
Artistic Director Ross Gumbley sees ANYTHING GOES as a great production to end 2009: “it’s got a perfect cast, a perfect team and a perfect score.”
With strong advance ticket sales, audiences are urged to come aboard ANYTHING GOES and book their tickets before they miss the boat.
*The original production of ANYTHING GOES ran for 420 performances on Broadway and 261 performances on the West End. It has also enjoyed two film adaptations (the first of which, in 1936, starred Ethel Merman and Bing Crosby) and numerous revivals.
* This is the first time ANYTHING GOES has been staged at The Court Theatre.
* The script of ANYTHING GOES underwent numerous revisions and title changes before it was staged, leading to a famous piece of theatre lore in which an exasperated member of the production team exclaimed “And just how in the hell are we going to end the first act?" "At this point," responded one of the producers, "anything goes!”
* Sandra Rasmussen and Richard Marrett have worked together on every musical at The Court since 2006: GUYS AND DOLLS, THE PRODUCERS, LA CAGE AUX FOLLES and I LOVE YOU, YOU’RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE!
ANYTHING GOES Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter.
Original book by PG Wodehouse & Guy Bolton and Howard Lindsay & Russel Crouse. New book by Timothy Crouse & John Weidman.
Directed & Choreographed by Sandra Rasmussen
Music Direction by Richard Marrett
Venue: Court One, The Court Theatre, Christchurch
Cast: Jude Gibson, Roy Snow, Hannah Wheeler, Jonathan Martin, Steven Ray, Alistair Browning, Amy Straker, Lynda Milligan, Kyle Cheun, Jason Te Mete, Nic Kyle, Claire Dougan, Simon Goudie, Torum Heng, Cassandra McCowan, Rutene Blake Spooner, Marcus Hoetjes, James Buchanan
Production Dates: 21 November 2009 – 13 February 2010
Performances: 6pm Monday / Thursday; 7:30pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday (no show Sundays).
Tickets: Adults $52, Senior Citizens $44, Tertiary Students $32, School Children $25, Group discount (20+) $42
Bookings: The Court Theatre, 20 Worcester Boulevard; 963 0870 or http://http://www.courttheatre.org.nz