‘Anything goes’ on this cruise

By Meredith Pechta, Theater Reviews | Jun 06, 2012
Courtesy of: Jenni El Fattal EmilyRose Frasca, center, stars as Reno in the musical “Anything Goes,” which opens at the Historic Everett Theater on June 8.

The Historic Everett Theater concludes another successful season with a forgotten favorite: “Anything Goes.” It was a big hit in its day, thanks to its show-stopping tunes by Cole Porter.

The plot itself doesn’t make too much sense, but that’s part of its charm. The story takes place aboard a cruise ship going to England. Most of the characters are not as pure as they pretend to be.

For instance, there is The Rev. Moonface Martin. He is actually no preacher, but the 13th most wanted man in America. Armed with a gun in his violin case, as all good criminals should have, he is fleeing America.

He has an accomplice named Bonnie who does what she can to keep the crewmen happy. There is also a young stockbroker named Billy on an impromptu vacation. His boss is on board as well, whom Billy does his best to dodge.

Soon he has to dodge almost everyone: Thanks to Moonface’s dubious help, he ends up being mistaken for a criminal. So why is he on board? He’s courting a woman he’d met in New York named Hope.

Unfortunately, Hope is not only accompanied on the trip by her mother, but her fiancé Sir Evelyn! Can he win her over? Maybe with the help of his friend Reno, a nightclub act with a good heart.

The costumes and the songs are really great, including Cole Porter’s “You’re the Tops” and “Let’s Misbehave.”

Taking center stage for the Northwest Savoyards is James Frasca as the troublesome Billy. He has quite a job as he changes costumes and personas in order to keep from being arrested.

Mark Abel steals the show – along with everything else – as the slimy, yet ever accommodating Moonface. He has a wonderful time as he lies through his teeth so badly, that his nose should be growing branches.

The role of his girl Friday, aka Bonnie, is played by Rachel Kunze Wilkie. She shows real talent in the dance numbers.

Sabrina Otness plays the lovely Hope. She has perhaps the hardest acting of all. Trying to keep a straight face as her would-be boyfriend keeps himself disguised.

Her fiancé Sir Evelyn, brings down the house as played by Dan Zertuche. As the proper and innocent Brit, he becomes quite endearing and hilarious. Especially when he appears in his underwear.

EmilyRose Frasca plays the beautiful and talented Reno. Her character has an interesting backstory and a bit of mystery about her. She’s also a great singer.

Hope’s overbearing mother, Mrs. Harcourt, is played by Cheryl Phillips. She is accompanied in most scenes with a dog.

You won’t want to miss this old hit. It has some great music and a fun nonsensical plot. So board the ship, before it’s too late.

“Anything Goes” is playing at the Historic Everett Theater from June 8-17. For ticket information, call 425-258-6766.

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