BWW Interviews: Josh Franklin Talks Roundabout Theatre Company's ANYTHING GOES
Josh Franklin is a very talented actor, singer-songwriter and musician. He's most well known for playing Bob Gaudio in the touring production of "Jersey Boys", but now he's making another name for himself as Billy Crocker in "Anything Goes".
As part of their 2013 season, Mirvish is currently staging Cole Porter's musical comedy "Anything Goes".
"Anything Goes" is a musical comedy about four people as they set off on the course to true love on the S.S. American. One of the pairs include: Hope Harcourt (played by Alex Finke) and Lord Evelyn Oakleigh (played Edward Staudenmayer), and the two other people are Reno Sweeney (played by Rachel York) and Billy Crocker (played by Josh Franklin). Billy loves Hope though and he'll do anything to get her to love him back and be with him. More comedy and hilarity ensues as the gangster Moonface Martin (played by Fred Applegate) and Erma (played by Joyce Chittick) come onboard the ship trying to hide from the authorities while aiding Billy on his quest for love.
To top it all off, Cole Porter's timeless classic "Anything Goes" includes some of musical theatre's most memorable standards such as: "I Get a Kick Out of You", "You're the Top" and "Anything Goes", just to name a few.
Josh took the time to speak with BWW over the phone about his character in "Anything Goes", just releasing his debut pop album of all original songs, and what it's like being in shows on Broadway and on tour.
BWW: Thanks for taking the time to do this interview with me, Josh. How does it feel to be a part of Cole Porter's timeless classic "Anything Goes"?
JOSH: It's incredible. I did the show on Broadway and that experience was its own thing and it was fun to perform on the Tony Awards and [there was a] lot of excitement involved with that production. But this production is equally exciting! I mean the cast is stellar and I'm playing a great role and I'm honoured to be a part of it all.
BWW: Tell us a bit about "Anything Goes" and about the character you play (Billy Crocker)
JOSH: "Anything Goes" was written in 1934 - Cole Porter wrote the music and lyrics, songs like "I Get a Kick Out of You", "You're the Top", "De-lovely", timeless classics. It's a musical comedy - a lot of Vaudeville type comedy is involved - it's hilarious. The plot is completely absurd. My particular character, Billy Crocker, who's a Wall Street employee trying to climb the ladder - a slave to his boss, but right before the play begins he has fallen in love with Hope Harcourt, and while he's bringing his boss his passport on the ship, he sees that Hope Harcourt is also a passenger on the S.S. American and he stows away to pursue her - the only problem is that she's engaged to an Englishman. So basically I'm pursuing Hope Harcourt the whole show, but I'm hiding from my boss and hiding from the captain and the purser. As a result I'm thrown into lots of funny situations with a gangster called Moonface Martin and I'm forced to dress in several ridiculous disguises and get into lots of shenanigans, which equals a lot of fun!
JOSH: It's very different. I understudied the role [of Billy Crocker] in New York, so that sort of pressure going on every once in a while is nice to let go of that - to get into a routine of playing the role. I guess the biggest difference is having the endurance and having to be consistent and health being taken care of eight shows a week - it's a two and a half hour long show and I hardly leave the stage, so it takes a lot of stamina, a lot of focus and discipline. But it's also incredibly worth it and rewarding and to get to sing these songs and dance this incredible choreography by Kathleen Marshall eight shows a week, it's an honour and a challenge and I gladly step up to the challenge.