Entertainment » Music

Anything Goes - New Broadway Cast Recording

by Steven Bergman
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Tuesday Sep 20, 2011
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Does a show ever reach a saturation point when it should stop making cast albums for each time it is revived? How many different cast recordings of the same set of songs does one need in their collection? Even though it has it’s enjoyable moments, the new cast album of Cole Porter’s "Anything Goes" supports the notion that a show can reach the point when making yet another Broadway Cast recording isn’t necessary.

Yes, two-time Tony Award winner Sutton Foster has a powerhouse voice (her Millie Dillamont and Princess Fiona were splendid examples), but her Reno Sweeney, the evangelist-turned-night club-singer in "Anything Goes," comes across as too young to be giving the mature advice that her character is responsible for in such classics as "I Get a Kick Out Of You," "Blow Gabriel Blow" and the title song. Add that she is paired with the 79-year old Broadway icon Joel Grey as Moonface Martin, and unfortunately, it is difficult to believe that the two characters would have ever had any history, though having a cast recording of Grey at the twilight of his career is worth a slot in one’s music collection.

Laura Osnes ("Grease") is serviceable as Hope Harcourt, and though the Roundabout Theatre Company brings in two seasoned heavy hitters to play the older roles (Jessica Walter and John McMartin), their talents are wasted on this recording.

The orchestrations, mostly from the 1987 Lincoln Center production featuring Patti LuPone, allow the musicians to deliver a smooth, glossy version of the score, shining on the dance breaks of "Blow Gabriel Blow" and "Anything Goes." Beyond that, they are just cinematic background for a standard delivery of Porter’s music.

The live production has received favorable reviews - it did win the 2011 Tony for Best-Revival, though against only one other show - but Ghostlight Records’ investment in this recording seems pointless. If you want to enjoy the score to "Anything Goes," seek out another of its many cast recordings.

Anything Goes - New Broadway Cast Recording
CD
$11.99
Ghostlight Records
Out Now

by Cole Porter (music and lyrics)

Steven Bergman is a Composer / Playwright / Performing Arts Educator based outside of Boston, MA.

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