'Anything Goes' comes to the Bradley Theatre

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Putnam - posted Mon., Jul. 29, 2013
Marc Cerrone (Sir Evelyn), Hayden Stearns (Billy) and Samantha Pike (Hope) in 'Anything Goes.' Courtesy photos. - Contributed Photo

The cast of “Anything Goes” began rehearsal on July 28 with a series of stretches and voice exercises meant to limber them up. They took to the stage bending and stretching.

Their voices filled the theater as LaDelle Arnold led them in the refrain: "Mommy made me mash my M&Ms." They sang a line from a song until they could go no louder or higher. Directors Kathleen Atwood and Robert Sloat schooled them in their last bows and musical cues.

With five days left before opening night, they were smoothing out the kinks, fixing the glitches and making sure everyone was on the same page.

Set aboard the S.S. American, the play finds young lovers Billy and Hope in a desperate situation. Hope is engaged to a man rich enough to save the family business, for which she feels responsible. Billy, in a last-ditch attempt to win the woman he loves, stows away on board ship. The crew thinks he's a mobster. What they don't realize is that a real mobster is on board disguised as a minister.

The convoluted story has twists and turns with every nautical mile traveled. Moonface Martin, played by Greg Brock, lends humor with his cartoonish public enemy character. And his acquaintance, Bonnie, lends a sassy sex appeal. Reno Sweeny, an evangelist-turned-night-club performer, played by Diane Pollard, turns up the heat herself as she does her part to thwart the engagement of Hope and Sir Evelyn, played by the good doctor Marc Cerrone.

The play is based on the 1962 Off-Broadway Revival by Guy Bolton, P.G. Wodehouse, Howard Lindsay and Russell Crouse. “Anything Goes” opened on Broadway in 1934. In 1936, the film version featured Ethel Merman and Bing Crosby. In 2011, the show won a Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. The music and lyrics by Cole Porter include songs such as “You're the Top,” and “I Get a Kick out of You.”

The show promises a golden-voiced lead in Pollard's Reno. Reno's angels, played by Denise Chicoine as Virtue, Lara Beecher as Charity, and LaDelle Arnold as Chastity, shimmy and shake their way across the stage whenever they can. Hayden Sterns, as Billy Crocker, keeps his eyes on the prize of Hope Harcourt (Samantha Pike) even while he's hiding from the law and an overbearing boss.

Performances are Aug. 2, 3, 9, 10, 16 and 17, at 7:30 p.m., and Aug. 4, 11 and 18, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $21 for adults and $18 for seniors and students. Reservations may be made with a major credit card online at www.thebradleyplayhouse.org or by calling 860-928-7887.

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