Monday, February 11, 2013

Still As Easy To Love (Theater Review: Anything Goes, Touring Company at The Smith Center For Performing Arts)

I'll be the first to admit I am a Broadway snob, and believe it or not, I have never seen a touring production of *anything.* There was never a need to, since Broadway was very accessible to me, and I thought why go for next best when I can get the real deal? So when I got an opportunity to see "Anything Goes" at The Smith Center For Performing Arts, I approached it with a little bit of trepidation. I got it to the show just in time, so I had really nil knowledge of the production, except for the fact that it is by The Roundabout, which I have seen. (My original review is here. )  The first thing I thought of : well, it really does duplicate the Broadway production at The Stephen Sondheim Theater, and the quality isn't skimped. My second thought was: who is this woman playing Reno Sweeney, and she is much better than Sutton Foster! I never really got why she was such a hot potato - she is certainly competent and a great dancer, but her singing tended to be sharp and borderlining off-pitch. Ms. York fixes that, with a creamy voice that improves on Foster's. I have this cast recording on my iPod so I know the tracks well, and even though Foster's vocals have grown on me, it was nice to hear it sung better. And her dancing was also great, just as good as Foster's, and all in all, this production is great throughout. It really does preserve the integrity of the Broadway production, down to the details of the sets and costumes. I have loved it before, and it's much easier to love now.

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