If it’s not the epic tap dance numbers, Cole Porter‘s impossibly happy beats, it’ll be Fred Applegate, the actor who plays Public Enemy #13, Moon-face Martin, that will finally win you over to the cheesy-side of life. Even when I was MUCH too cool to laugh at the slapstick antics (soooooo lowbrow) of Billy Crocker, Applegate made me laugh pretty much every time he did anything. When I giggled at yet another one of his predictable jokes, I finally thought “Ah, screw it”, and just gave in to the totally unrealistic froth on stage. And, honestly? It felt pretty good.
The costumes are gorgeous (so are the actors), the voices are powerful, the comic timing is pretty spot-on and though the full out dance numbers are few, they are mighty.
Rachel York, the headliner who plays Reno Sweeney, has an incredible lung capacity and is seriously fit. Her performance is a grueling work-out and while I found her a bit over-the-top “1930s dame”, she’s got skills and endurance most of us do not. Yup – I’d say she’s de-lovely.
ANYTHING GOES wouldn’t be my first choice when spending a night at the theatre. But once I got over myself and my self-aggrandizing theatrical sophistication, it really was fun to watch. And I owe it all to Fred Applegate.
ANYTHING GOES is on at the Princess of Wales Theatre (300 King St. W.) until August 18th. For tix click here or call: 416-872-1212. Rush tickets ($29) are available for all performances – in person only on performance day, at the theatre’s box office. 2 tix/person – first come first serve!