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A Knock-Out In Every Possible Way
on June 17, 2004
Although the 1987 revival of Cole Porter's legendary ANYTHING GOES plays fast and loose with both the original score and book, it's hard to be anything but enchanted with the show or the this cast recording--particularly when it includes the talents of Patti LuPone, Bill McCutcheon, Anne Francine, and many other Broadway notables.
The story of romantic follies aboard a transatlantic liner, the show opens with a scratchy recording of Cole Porter himself singing the title tune before the soundtrack segues into a dazzling overture by an excellent orchestra--and then proceeds to bounce out one great Porter tune after another: "I Get A Kick Out of You," "You're The Top," "Easy to Love," "Friendship," "It's De-Lovely," the title cut, "Blow Gabriel Blow," and "All Through the Night," to name but the most obvious titles.
While the entire cast is nothing short of brilliant, the show clearly belongs to Patti LuPone in the role of Reno Sweeney, an evangelist who does a little nightclub act on the side. LuPone hasn't been in better form since she dazzled New York audiences in EVITA, and her knock-you-flat vocal style is perfectly suited to both the role and the complex Porter tunes originally written for Broadway powerhouse Ethel Merman... and indeed, even Merman's memorable renditions seem to pale a bit in comparison.
Purists may complain about fiddling with the score, and it is true that this revival drops as many Porter classics from the original score as it adds from other sources; "Let's Misbehave" is particularly missed. But it's hard to argue with the addition of "De-Lovely" and "Easy to Love" (the latter of which Porter originally gave to Jimmy Stewart, of all people, to perform in the memorable 1936 film BORN TO DANCE.) And when Patti LuPone launches into "Anything Goes," you'll know it really does. Recommended as a knock-out in every possible way!
GFT, Amazon Reviewer