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ANYTHING GOES

Playbill

(REVISED VERSION - 1962)

A Revival of the Musical Comedy in 2 Acts, 13 Scenes. Original book by Guy Bolton and P. G. Wodehouse, Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. New book by Timothy Crouse and John Weidman. Music and lyrics by Cole Porter.

Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter
Book by Guy Bolton, PG Wodehouse, Howard Lindsay & Russell Crouse

Originally produced in New York 21 November 1934 at the Alvin Theater for 420 performances.
Opened 19 October, 1987 at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre: closed 3 September 1989 (804 perfs.)

Synopsis

The age-old tale of Boy-Meets-Girl and the complications which ensue intrigue every audience, and no musical puts it on stage better than ANYTHING GOES. This show is an amusing story wrapped around one of Cole Porter's magical scores. Two versions of it are available for presentation. The 1962 version and the 1987 Beaumont version are each based on the same story. Both may be accompanied by a piano, a small instrumental combo or a full orchestra. The 1987 Beaumont version has twice as much dance music as the 1962 version, and the orchestration features a shipboard sound derived from the utility band and less-than-ideal acoustics on board.

Story

Before this show starts our hero and heroine, Billy Crocker and Hope Harcourt, meet at a party one hot summer night in the early 1930s. Hope is a pretty girl, with an overbearing mother who wants her daughter to marry an English Lord. Billy is a young man just beginning his career on Wall Street. A leisurely drive through Central Park and a chaste kiss put the finishing touches on an evening that speaks of promise. Somehow, Hope slips away without giving her name and address to Billy.

The story begins at the New York sailing of the Ocean Greyhound America bound for England. Everything takes place aboard the ship. It is customary for members of the press to take photographs of the passengers for the Society sections of newspapers before a ship sets sail. Of particular interest to the ship's reporters is Reno Sweeney, famed Evangelist-turned-Nightclub singer, with her four beautiful Angels - backup singers. Unfortunately she appears to be the only celebrity on board. Other passengers photographed include Elisha Whitney (Wall Street executive and Billy Crocker's boss), Sir Evelyn Oakleigh (a rich English Gentleman), Miss Hope Harcourt (American debutante and Evelyn's fiancée), Mrs. Wadsworth Harcourt (Hope's mother), Bishop Henry Dobson (a minister), and Ching and Ling (two of Bishop Dobson's Chinese converts).

Billy Crocker comes aboard to drop off his boss' passport. On board he runs into Reno, who is an old friend. Billy, as it turns out, is the same young man who drove around Central Park with Hope Harcourt, and who has been searching for her unsuccessfully ever since. Reno greets Billy warmly, and she tells him how she gets a "kick" whenever they meet. Then the deck stewards begin to call, "All ashore that's going ashore," and Billy starts for the gangplank. He is just stepping on it when a girl appears: the splendid girl with whom he rode around Central Park. "Are you sailing?" she asks. "You bet I'm sailing" is his reply. And the ship sets sail.

There is another celebrity sailing, but he is very much under wraps. "Moonface Martin," a onetime ship's gambler and "Public Enemy 13," is hiding out on board disguised as a Minister. This "thirteen" has brought him a succession of bad luck, and he is determined to move up to the 11 or 12 spot. Billy wins Moonface's friendship by inadvertently identifying Bishop Henry Dobson as Moonface to the FBI. The innocent Bishop ends up in the ship's brig. Moonface shows his gratitude by giving Billy a ticket and passport for the trip which had been intended for his friend Snake Eyes,  Snake Eyes, number "one" on the "wanted" list, had been warned against sailing. His companion, Bonnie, does set sail and spends time with Moonface.

The first evening Billy finds out that Hope is engaged to Sir Evelyn. The British gentleman's lack of romance and upset stomach give Billy an opportunity to be alone with Hope all night. When he gets back to the room he and Moon are sharing the next morning, Billy realises that his boss, Whitney, is their neighbour. Moon steals Whitney's glasses, so Whitney will not recognise Billy on board. Moon finds out that the authorities are searching the ship for Billy, who they think is the real Snake Eyes. In order to warn his new friend that he is in danger, Moonface admits to Billy that he is not a real clergyman and reveals his true identity. When Billy responds to Moon that he will not turn him in, Moon tells Billy that the ship's crew thinks Billy is actually Snake Eyes. Billy refuses to hide for the rest of the trip because he wants to see Hope. Bonnie disguises Billy in a sailor's uniform. Moon, Reno and her Angels recognise Billy as a sailor. He explains his predicament to Reno, and she is willing to distract Sir Evelyn; she thinks he is attractive. Moonface also joins in Reno's efforts to help Billy win Hope away from the pleasant but lame-brained English Baronet to whom she is engaged. Billy has just a few days to win Hope (whose mother is all for Sir Evelyn), the ship's officers are searching the ship for a man who is the occupant of the "number one" gangster's cabin, and Billy has to resort to varied disguises that include dressing as a woman, a chef and a man with a beard. The ship's Purser finally catches up with Snake Eyes and Moonface, but Billy is spared from going to the ship's jail. All of the passengers except Hope consider Billy posing as Snake Eyes a celebrity, and want him to mingle among them freely.

The passengers on board celebrate the new celebrity they discovered in Public Enemy No. One, and Bonnie encourages the impostor’s acceptance. Sir Evelyn begins to fall in love with Reno. He speaks romantically to her. Hope gets progressively more disgusted with Billy's lie. The Captain instructs Moonface, still undercover as a minister, to perform a service to reform Snake Eyes. Under Hope's pressure Billy finally confesses he is an impostor, Moonface admits who he really is, and the two end up in the ship's brig.

Billy is obsessed with Hope while in jail. Moonface tries to calm him down. The two Chinese converts travelling with the real Bishop Dobson are also thrown into the brig, for gambling. When Hope finally visits Billy there, she tells him of her mother's plans to have the Captain marry her and Sir Evelyn within hours. The young couple love each other. Billy must prevent this wedding from happening. He and Moonface trick the converts to exchange clothes with them, and are released from jail in the converts' places. Billy arrives on deck in time to prevent the marriage ceremony, by embarrassing Sir Evelyn, with Reno's help. Hope and Billy end up together, as do Reno and Sir Evelyn, Bonnie and Moonface, and Mrs. Harcourt and Mr. Whitney. The only one who is the least bit disappointed is Moonface, who is no longer wanted by the F.B.I.

CASTING

23 parts, 7 principals.

Hope, sings and tap dances.
Billy, good actor, good voice helps.
Moon, character comic who sings comic number, good voice not required.
Reno, strong musical comedy type who belts songs and hoofs well.
Sir Evelyn and E. J. Whitney, mostly straight acting roles with little singing.
Bonnie, dance-hall-girl type.

Dance-hall chorus line and other chorus roles very flexible — can vary from 6 to 24. Total cast, 30-46.

Musical Numbers

    1. (Anything Goes) - (Recording sung by Cole Porter)
    2. I Get a Kick Out of You - Reno Sweeney
    3. (There's) No Cure Like Travel - (dropped from original production) - Sailor, Young Girl, Ship's Crew
    4. Bon Voyage - Company
    5. You're the Top - Reno Sweeney, Billy Crocker
    6. Easy to Love (from BORN TO DANCE, film) - Billy Crocker
    7. I Want to Row with the Crew (from PARANOIA, Yale) - Elisha Whitney
    8. Sailor's Chanty (There'll Always Be a Lady Fair) - Chanty Quartet
    9. Friendship (from DUBARRY WAS A LADY) - Reno Sweeney, Moonface Martin
    10. It's Delovely (from RED HOT AND BLUE) - Billy Crocker, Hope Harcourt
    11. Anything Goes - Reno Sweeney, Company
    12. Public Enemy #1 - Company
    13. Blow, Gabriel, Blow - Reno Sweeney, Company
    14. Goodbye, Little Dream, Goodbye (from O MISTRESS MINE, London) - Hope Harcourt
    15. Be Like the Bluebird - Moonface Martin
    16. All Through the Night - Billy Crocker, Hope Harcourt, Men
    17. The Gypsy in Me - Lord Evelyn Harcourt
    18. Buddie, Beware - Erma, Sailors
    19. I Get a Kick Out of You (reprise) - Company

ORCHESTRATION

Reed 1, 2, 3 & 4: Trumpet 1 & 2: Trombone: Percussion: Banjo: Guitar: Piano & Celeste: Violin 1 & 2: Viola: Cello: Bass

A Combo set is also available

Scenes and Settings

2 acts, 16 scenes, 8 sets including drops.

ACT I

Scene 1: Weylin Caprice Bar.
Scene 2: Afterdeck. Midnight Sailing.
Scene 3: Mr. Whitney's and Dr. Moon's Cabins. Scene 4: The Afterdeck.
Scene 5: Sir Evelyn's Cabin.
Scene 6: The Deck.

ACT II

Scene 1: The Lounge.
Scene 2: The Brig.
Scene 3: Conservatory of Sir Evelyn's Home, England.

PERIOD AND COSTUMES:

The 1930's with all the fashions of the day as worn by the ship's passengers, including girls' pants, slumber helmets, pleated skirts, and chorus costumes. Also sailor dress white uniforms, deck shorts/tunic outfits, entertainer gowns, black parson's suit, collar and hat, evening wear, and various business suits and disguises.

CHOREOGRAPHY:

Tap, kick line, "Heaven Hop," soft shoe, and production numbers.


LIGHTING AND SPECIAL EFFECTS:

General lighting.