Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Maltz Jupiter Theatre: Anything Goes (2 reviews)

The Maltz Jupiter Theatre opened its production of Anything Goes on March 9, 2101.
All aboard for this tuneful, tap-dancing, splashy trans -Atlantic romp awash with romance, intrigue and delightful Cole Porter score. Audiences are certain to get a kick out of this lighthearted gem of mistaken identities and misbegotten romance all set aboard the luxury ocean liner where Billy Crocker tries to woo the girl of his dreams. The smashing score includes You're the Top, I Get a Kick Out of You, and It's De-Lovely. Great for the entire family!
Marcia Milgrom Dodge directed a cast that included Bret Shuford, Tari Kelly, Richard Vita, Tom Beckett, Catherine Walker, and Anita Flanagan.

John LaRiviere reviewed for TalkinBroadway.com:
...choreographer/director Marcia Milgrom Dodge has made the dancing one of the stars of this production. The music is beautifully led and played by conductor/music director Helen Gregory and a live 10-piece orchestra. The set designed by Michael Schweikart is cleverly moved about throughout the show by the actors as they weave their way in and out of scenes. Costumer Gail Baldoni does a smashing job with Reno Sweeney's costumes, and actress Tari Kelley is a knock-out in nearly every one.
Tari Kelley is sensational as Reno Sweeney. She has the big, brassy voice needed for the role, and comic timing that reminds one of Carol Burnett.
Bret Shuford has a lovely tenor voice and smooth dancing as Billy Crocker... he provides a very solid performance.
Tom Beckett as clumsy mobster Moonface Martin is at his comic best in "Be Like The Bluebird." Wynn Harmon really finds the comedy in his role as Lord Evelyn Oakleigh as he struggles to assimilate modern American slang and customs.
Richard Vida has such strong acting presence and dancing skills that one wishes there were more meat to his role as the Captain.
Hap Erstein reviewed for the Palm Beach Post:
...a tap-happy, carefree production that is too busy entertaining us to be concerned that its story line is paper-thin and hard to get emotionally invested in.
As good as Porter’s score is — front-loaded in the first act alone with such pop standards as I Get A Kick Out of You, You’re the Top, Friendship, It’s De-Lovely and the title number — Anything Goes is hardly a foolproof musical. But the Maltz hides that fact quite well, thanks to production numbers built by director-choreographer Marcia Milgrom Dodge (who staged the recent Broadway revival of Ragtime) and her puckish sense of humor.
Heading a strong cast, all of whom keep breaking into tap, is Tari Kelly as Reno. A dead ringer for Christine Baranski, she has a similarly dry comic delivery and a belter’s way with a song. Deft comic Tom Beckett manages to earn more laughs with the wheezy humor dealt to mobster Moonface Martin than seems possible, while Richard Vida and Catherine Walker are aptly toothsome and bland as the young lovers.
...you will be entertained and will surely leave the Maltz humming one or more of Porter’s tunes.
Anything Goes plays a the Maltz Jupiter Theatre through March 28, 2010.

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