- Cole Porter
Cole Porter's smart and sassy Anything Goes sparkled in the ISO concert version at the Hilbert Circle Theatre. Festooned as a ship, the stage showcased the orchestra, with the apron in front a bare space upon which a few pieces of furniture were carried to suggest a setting. Otherwise, it was use your imagination to dress the scene and simply concentrate on the singing, dancing and acting by the splendid cast.
David Levy's adaptation hit all the highlights of the story with romance at the forefront and shenanigans and human foibles as counterfoil. If you didn't know what was left out you didn't miss it.
The orchestra provided the richness from which Rachel York delivered her spirited Reno Sweeney. The cast matched her verve. Max von Essen was a delightfully nuanced Billy Crocker, whose newfound love for Hope Harcourt is circuitously returned by Marisa McGowan, providing the arc of the story.
Everyone got a star turn front and center, including red-hot deliveries by Judy Kaye as Evangeline Harcourt and by Tari Kelly as Erma. Gary Beach as Moonface Martin, Ted Keegan as Lord Evelyn Oakleigh and Dennis Kelly as Elisha J. Whitney rounded out the leads. Jennifer Ladner's choreography and musical staging showcased the supporting cast in show stopping musical numbers.
Members of the Indianapolis Men's Chorus also contributed fine singing and acting. Clare Henkel's costumes were stunning, and it was all enhanced by on-the-mark lighting by Laura Glover, sound design by Randy Hansen and Jack Everly's deft conducting.