Anything Goes — Broadway

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Anything Goes — Broadway YouTube video show preview.

What: Anything Goes
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Anything Goes is a musical with music and lyrics by Cole Porter. The book was a collaborative effort by Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse. The story concerns madcap antics aboard an ocean liner bound from New York to London. Billy Crocker is a stowaway in love with heiress Hope Harcourt, who is engaged to Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. Nightclub singer Reno Sweeney and Public Enemy #13 Moonface Martin aid Billy in his quest to win Hope. The musical introduced such songs as "Anything Goes," "You're the Top," and "I Get a Kick Out of You."
Since its 1934 debut at the Neil Simon Theatre (at the time known as the Alvin) on Broadway, the musical has been revived several times in the United States and Britain and has been filmed twice. The musical has long been a popular choice for school and community productions.

Anything Goes — Broadway Synopsis
Three versions of the libretto of Anything Goes exist: the original 1934 libretto, the 1962 revival libretto, and the 1987 revival libretto. The story has been revised, though all involve similar romantic complications aboard the S.S. American and feature the same major characters. The score has been altered, with

Anything Goes — Broadway History
Anything Goes is a farce set below decks on an ocean liner bound for London from New York. The original idea came from producer Vinton Freedley, who was living on a boat, having left the US to avoid his creditors. He selected the writing team, and the star, Ethel Merman. The first draft of the show was called Crazy Week, which became Hard to Get, and finally Anything Goes. Hard to Get was set on a mid-ocean liner that was in danger, but, just a few weeks before the show was due to open, a fire on board the passenger ship SS Morro Castle caused the deaths of 137 passengers and crew. According to one version, Freedley judged that to proceed with a show on a similar subject would be in dubious taste and he insisted on changes to the script. But theatre historian Lee Davis maintains that Freedley wanted the script changing because it was "a hopeless mess." Bolton and Wodehouse were no longer available, so Freedley turned to his director, Howard Lindsay, who recruited Russel Crouse as his collaborator, beginning a lifelong writing partnership. The roles of Billy Crocker and Moonface Martin were written for the well-known comedy team, William Gaxton and Victor Moore, and Gaxton's talent for assuming various disguises was featured in the libretto.
According to theatre legend, the show's new title, along with the title number, was born from the haste with which the show was revamped: at a late-night production meeting, an exasperated and over-worked member of the production team cried out "And just how in the hell are we going to end the first act?" "At this point," responded one of the producers, being more helpful than he realized, "anything

Original 1934 libretto
Anything Goes — Broadway Act One
Billy Crocker, a young Wall Street broker, has fallen in love with a beautiful girl he met in a taxi. His boss, Elisha J. Whitney, is preparing to make a business deal and is going to travel to London aboard the S.S. "American". Evangelist turned nightclub singer Reno Sweeney will be traveling aboard the same ship. Even though Reno and Billy are just friends, she tells him "I Get A Kick Out Of You." Billy goes to the dock to bid "Bon Voyage" to his boss and Reno and glimpses the mysterious girl. She is heiress Hope Harcourt and, escorted by her mother, Mrs. Harcourt, is on her way to England with her fiancé Sir Evelyn Oakleigh, an attractive but stuffy and hapless British nobleman. Billy stows away on the ship in hopes of winning Hope's heart. "Moonface" Martin, a second-rate (gangster) labeled "Public Enemy 13", and his friend Bonnie (Erma in 1987) have disguised themselves as a minister and a missionary and innocently aided by Billy, board the ship under their assumed identities, stranding the ship's real chaplain back at the port. Moonface and Bonnie mistakenly leave behind their leader, "Snake Eyes" Johnson, Public Enemy 1.
To thank Billy, Bonnie and Moonface let him have Snake Eyes Johnson's passport and ticket without telling him to whom they belong. Billy convinces Sir Evelyn that he is quite seasick and when he goes below deck, Billy and Hope meet again and realize each has been thinking of the other "All Through The Night". Though Hope prefers Billy, she insists she must marry Evelyn, not revealing to Billy her family's company is in financial trouble and a marriage to Evelyn would promote a merger and save the company. The ship's crew gets a cable from New York saying that Public Enemy 1 is on board. Moonface admits his true identity to Billy and he and Bonnie conspire to disguise Billy as a crew member since he is now presumed to be Snake Eyes Johnson.
A quartet of sailors proclaim that "There'll Always Be a Lady Fair" waiting on shore for each of them. On deck, Bonnie proclaims, "Where Are the Men?," attracting a group of sailors. She returns to Billy and Moonface with a sailor suit.
Hope discusses her impending marriage with Evelyn and discovers that he is not particularly pleased with the engagement either. Billy asks Reno to help separate Evelyn and Hope, and she agrees. Billy and Reno declare to each other, "You're the Top". Reno flirts with Evelyn, who invites her for a drink in his cabin. She and Moon plot that Moon should burst into the cabin and discover Reno half-naked in Evelyn's arms, providing sufficient reason for breaking off the engagement. However, when Moon breaks into the room, machine gun in tow, he instead sees Reno fully-dressed and Evelyn nearly undressed. Moon tries to invent some indecent explanation for the situation, but Evelyn insists that he would be quite pleased by any rumor depicting him as a passionate lover, especially if Hope heard it. Moon admits that the plot has failed.
The crew has caught on to Billy's sailor disguise, and Moon and Reno create a new disguise for him from a stolen pair of trousers, a drunk's jacket, and hair cut from Mrs. Harcourt's Pomeranian and made into a beard. Reno tells Billy that Evelyn has kissed her, and she is sure she will be Lady Oakleigh soon since nowadays "Anything Goes". Mrs. Harcourt, recognizing her dog's hair, angrily pulls off Billy's beard and the crew and passengers realize he must be the wanted man. As Snake Eyes Johnson, Billy is an instant celebrity.
Act Two
Billy is honored by both crew and passengers as "Public Enemy Number One." He tells the Captain that Moon (who is still disguised as a minister) is helping him reform from his wicked ways. Moon is asked to lead a revival in the ship's lounge. The passengers confess their sins to the "Reverend", and Sir Evelyn admits to a one-night stand with a young Chinese woman. Hope is not impressed with Billy's charade, and to please her, he confesses to everyone that he is not really Snake Eyes Johnson. Moon attempts to compensate by revealing that he is not a minister; he is Public Enemy Number Thirteen. The captain sends them both to the brig. Reno then puts her evangelistic training to good use and, continuing the revival, leads the anthem "Blow, Gabriel, Blow".
Moon tries to cheer Billy up by urging him to "Be Like the Bluebird". Billy doubts he will ever see Hope again; he and Moon cannot leave their cell until they return to America. Their card-playing Chinese cellmates, who have been imprisoned for winning all the cash in third class, will be put ashore in England. Moon and Billy win their clothes in a game of strip poker.
Billy, Moon, and Reno show up at the Oakleigh estate in Chinese garb. Billy and Moon tell Oakleigh's uncle that they are the parents of "Plum Blossom" and threaten to publicize Evelyn's indescretion if he does not marry her. Uncle Oakleigh offers to buy them off and Moon gleefully accepts the cash, much to Billy and Reno's chagrin.
Billy and Reno find Hope and Evelyn, who are unhappy with the prospect of their matrimony. Hope declares that she wildly wants to marry Billy ("The Gypsy in Me"). Billy spots Whitney and finally learns that Evelyn and Hope's planned marriage is really an awkward business merger. Billy savvily knows that Uncle Oakleigh is manipulating them all; Hope's company is really worth millions and Billy informs Whitney of that fact. Whitney offers to buy the firm from Hope at an exorbitant price, and she accepts. The marriage is called off since a merger is now impossible. Billy and Hope get married, as do Reno and Evelyn. A cable from the U.S. government fixes Billy's passport problems and declares Moon "harmless". Moon indignantly pockets Oakleigh's check and refuses to return it.

Anything Goes — Broadway Characters
Reno Sweeney — an evangelist turned nightclub singer and an old friend of Billy's
Billy Crocker — assistant to Elisha, love-struck would-be suitor to Hope
Hope Harcourt — American debutante and the object of Billy's affection
Mrs. Evangeline Harcourt — Hope's haughty and overbearing mother
Sir Evelyn Oakleigh — Hope's wealthy and handsome English fiancé
Moonface Martin — a second-rate gangster, "Public Enemy Number 13", soon to not be thought as a public enemy at all
Bonnie/Erma (1987 revival) — sidekick to Moonface
Elisha J. Whitney — Ivy league Wall Street banker, Billy's boss
Reno’s Angels (Purity, Charity, Chastity and Virtue) (1934 original and 1962 revival/2002 concert)
Ritz Quartette (1934 original)/Lady Fair Quartet (1987 revival)
Ching and Ling §— Two Chinese 'Converts' and reformed gamblers who accompany Bishop Henry T. Dobson
Captain, Steward, Purser on the ship
The Rite Reverend, Bishop Henry T. Dobson
Ships crew, Passengers, Reporters, Photographers and F.B.I. Agents
§"Luke" and "John" in the 1987 revival and 2002 concert

Anything Goes — Broadway Musical numbers
Act 1
I Get a Kick Out of You—Reno Sweeney
Bon Voyage (There's No Cure Like Travel) -- Sailor, Girl and Ship's Crew and Company
All Through the Night (in Act II in 1987 revival) -- Billy Crocker, Hope Harcourt and Men
You'd Be So Easy to Love (1987 revival) -- Billy Crocker
I Want to Row on the Crew (not in 1934) -- Elisha J. Whitney
Sailor's Shanty—Quartet
Where Are the Men? (only in 1934)
You're the Top—Reno Sweeney and Billy Crocker
Friendship (first in 1962 revival) -- Reno Sweeney and Moonface Martin
It's De-Lovely (first in 1962 revival) -- Billy Crocker and Hope Harcourt
Anything Goes—Reno Sweeney and Company
Act 2
Public Enemy Number One—Captain, Purser, Company
Let's Step Out—Bonnie (only in 1962 revival)
What a Joy to be Young (only in 1934) -- Hope
Let's Misbehave (only in 1962 revival) -- Reno and Sir Evelyn
Blow, Gabriel, Blow—Reno Sweeney and Company
Goodbye, Little Dream, Goodbye (not in 1934) -- Hope Harcourt
Be Like the Bluebird—Moonface Martin
All Through the Night (Reprise) -- Billy Crocker, Hope Harcourt and Men
Buddie, Beware (1987 revival) -- Erma and Sailors
I Get a Kick Out of You (Reprise) (finale for 1987) -- Company
The Gypsy in Me—Lord Evelyn Oakleigh (sung by Hope in 1934)
Take Me Back To Manhattan (only in 1962 revival) -- Reno Sweeney

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