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Review Roundup: L.A.'s ANYTHING GOES at the Ahmanson Theatre!

December 5
4:59 PM 2012

Review-Roundup-ANYTHING-GOES-20010101

Roundabout Theatre Company's (Todd Haimes, Artistic Director) national tour of the 2011 Tony® Award-winning Anything Goes opened on Wednesday, November 28 in Los Angeles at the Ahmanson Theatre and continues through January 6, 2013.  Tickets are available in person at the CTG box office, by phone (213) 628-2772 or online at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org.  
 
Check out what the critics had to say:  
 
Margaret Gray of the LA Times says: Could tap-dancing possibly be as fun as Rachel York" href="http://www.latimes.com/topic/entertainment/rachel-york-PECLB0000008226.topic">Rachel York makes it look?  She and the cast of the Roundabout Theatre Company's Tony-winning Broadway revival of "Anything Goes," now stopping at the Ahmanson Theatre on its national tour, perform the show's exuberant title number with such saucy, effortless flair and megawatt smiles that I found myself thinking, "I'm signing up for lessons" - I, who get winded riding an escalator in heels.
 
Myron Meisel of the Hollywood Reporter writes: Rachel York plays saloon singer Reno Sweeney with the requisite brass but also considerably amped sex appeal which enriches the undercurrent of rue, singing the tunes in a distinctive style that may not truly be period but brings the feeling of the period accessibly to modern ears, and she dances effortlessly, obscuring the mechanics by using the steps as expressions of character. Also unimpeachable, Erich Bergen excels in the most difficult role as the bland leading man, whose stolidity masks the depth of his emotions that can only be conveyed by song and dance. He nails that elusively archaic idiom and wins the hearts of all, onstage and in front of it. As the secondary soubrette Erma, Joyce Chittick relishes every ounce of stereotype of her promiscuous moll with infectious bombast.
 
Laura Hertzfeld of Entertainment Weekly has this to say:  Fortunately, Rachel York holds her own and then some. Her mile-long legs and brassy, big voice take over the stage, but still make room for the charming ensemble cast. She also melds gracefully into the big dance numbers that make director-choreographer Kathleen Marshall's revival so memorable.
 
The Los Angeles News reports: One of the original, and strongest, offerings is the show opener "I Get a Kick Out of You." Reno Sweeney (York), an evangelist turned nightclub entertainer, laments that she would like more than a friendship with her longtime pal Billy Crocker (Erich Bergen).
 
Frances Baum Nicholson of the Pasedena Star News says: Erich Bergen's chiseled good looks and muscular style give the earnest Billy Crocker the boyish appeal of the show's slightly silly romantic lead. Alex Finke's gentle and genteel ingenue, Hope, makes an interesting balance to York's brass - as much a contrast as the two women's physicalities - as they engage in occasional battle over Billy's heart. Dennis Kelly gives Billy's millionaire boss an appropriately cartoonish quality, while Sandra Shipley, as the mother of heiress Hope, provides entertainingly lively counterpoint.
 
Paul Hodgins of the Orange County Register writes: York, a statuesque and talented Broadway veteran, plays Reno Sweeney, a vampish beauty who's also a revivalist preacher/singer with a shipboard act. (I warned you this plot was silly.) She's got a thing for Billy, but sees he's smitten and good-naturedly decides to help him in his quest.
 
Pauline Adamek of ArtsbeatLA reports: Wall-to-wall hit tunes, ear-to-ear grin all night long F U N ! –  Cole Porter's timeless classic musical theatre masterpiece, Anything Goes, has set sail at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre in a new Broadway revival and continues through January 6, 2013.
 
Jana Monji of the Examiner praises: Martin Pakledinaz's costume design and Derek McLane's scenic design give you all the sophisticatEd Grace and beauty of the 1930s. It makes this the perfect toe-tapping opportunity to dress up Los Angeles.
 
Robert Hofler of Variety says: York's Reno Sweeney takes some getting used to for those theatergoers who know this classic tuner. She's got the voice, and she's a pretty good dancer. But York seems to be channeling Mae West through Olive Oyl's body. It's a concept that's more intriguing on paper than realized here on stage. But when she finally discovers love, with the insipidly English Lord Evelyn Oakleigh (Edward Staudenmayer), the two of them turn "The Gypsy in Me" into a camp classic.

Don Grigware of BroadwayWorld writes: ...overlook the goofy plot, inconsequential storyline, as they are not the reasons to see this production of Anything Goes. It's the cast, particularly York and Staudenmayer, Marshall's astounding choreography- especially the Act I tap finale and glittering "Blow, Gabriel, Blow" at the top of Act II - and Cole Porter's tunes... that make it all "De-lovely"!

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