a theatre, film & pop culture review
Note: My personal rankings are listed in order from best to worst, with #1 being my favorite, while predictions for the actual winner will be in orange.
Truth be told, I don’t believe Anything Goes is worthy (though just about everyone else does), and that’s said with a whole lotta disappointment, because I get a kick out of the Cole Porter classic. In fact, I think it’s the top. It’s de-lovely. It’s oh-so-easy to love.
Except this production is not.
The costumes are delightful, Sutton is delicious, but Marshall’s work is dilemma, period. This light-as-air musical should be frothy, fast-paced fun but director-choreographer Kathleen Marshall generates a drowsily-paced and largely funny-free production. The performances are uneven with the gangly Adam Godley winning the day as the prim and ridiculous Lord Evelyn Oakleigh and the seasoned Joel Grey losing with his forgetful and frail Moonface Martin, and the serviceable choreography excels only in the energetic “Blow, Gabriel, Blow.” The Queen Bee of Musical Revivals — rarely does Marshall helm a new work — this simply isn’t her finest effort. This production of a comedic gem is neither conceptually innovative or a thrilling throwback.
I’m not sure I can write any more about Rob Ashford‘s production of How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying without coming off as a giddy idiot, so I’ll just say it once more: I loved it. It’s not nearly perfect, but it’s a blissfully bright Broadway musical with a full, fantastic orchestra; clever, beautifully executed choreography; and a dynamic, dedicated cast. It’s an absolute joy to watch, and I’ll be watching again on Friday. There’s no better endorsement than that.