Anything Goes (Beaumont 1987)


Music, dance, laughs, and the age-old tale of Boy Meets Girl– no musical puts it on stage better than ANYTHING GOES! A hilarious shipboard romp, wrapped around one of Cole Porter’s most magical scores, ANYTHING GOES is Delightful, Delicious, and De-Lovely.

Two versions of ANYTHING GOES are available for presentation: the 1962 version and this 1987 Beaumont version, each based on the same story. Both may be accompanied by a piano, a small instrumental combo or a full orchestra. This 1987 Beaumont version has twice as much dance music as the 1962 version, and the orchestration features a shipboard sound derived from the utility band and less-than-ideal acoustics on board. Both versions include “It’s De-Lovely,” “Friendship,” “I Get A Kick Out Of You,” “All Through The Night,” “Anything Goes,” “You’re The Top” and “Blow, Gabriel, Blow.” This 1987 Beaumont version also includes “Buddie Beware” and “Easy To Love.” (The 1962 version also includes “Take Me Back To Manhattan” and “Let’s Misbehave.”)

Music samples courtesy of Jay Records and Warner/Chappell Music Inc.

  • Synopsis
  • Credits
  • Orchestration
  • Rehearsal Materials
  • Cast List
  • Brief History
  • Upcoming
  • Elisha Whitney, a successful Ivy league Wall Street banker, waits impatiently for his assistant, Billy Crocker, to meet him at a New York City bar. Billy is to drop off some items Whitney needs for his vacation, and Whitney has to give Billy instructions to sell some stock for his personal account. It turns out that Billy forgot his boss’ passport, so he will have to deliver it to Whitney on the cruise ship the following morning. Coincidence has it that Billy’s old friend Reno Sweeny, a sexy Evangelist turned nightclub singer, plans to travel on the same boat as Whitney. Reno is interested in Billy romantically –I Get A Kick Out Of You, but Billy explains to her that he is in love with a girl named Hope. Reno even invites Billy to join her on the trip –There’s No Cure Like Travel, but Billy just isn’t interested in her that way.
    Transatlantic voyages usually draw celebrities and, therefore, photographers. But Charlie Chaplin cancelled his plans on the ship at the last minute. This leaves Hope Harcourt, the American debutante to photograph. She is traveling with her fiancé Lord Evelyn Oakleigh, a wealthy Englishman, and her mother Evangeline Harcourt, a widow. The photographers are not impressed by the Minister Henry T. Dobson and his two Chinese converts, but they take notice when Reno Sweeny and her four Showgirl Angels board the ship. Coincidence has it that Evangeline and Whitney are old friends.
    When Billy boards the ship to drop off Whitney’s passport, he finds out that his long lost love, Hope, is a passenger, and is to be married. As Billy tries to find Hope before the ship leaves the dock, two pushy F.B.I. agents force Billy to show them where the Minister is. Billy inadvertently identifies Minister Dobson as Moonface Martin, a gangster and Public Enemy #13, to the F.B.I. agents. Dobson is thrown in the ship’s brig, and his two converts are allowed to wander the ship without supervision. Moonface and his friend Erma are indebted to Billy, and thank him by giving him their friend’s unused ticket and room. The problem is that their friend who didn’t make it on board is Snake Eyes Johnson, Public Enemy # 1, and wanted by the F.B.I. too. Now Billy is mistaken for Snake Eyes (Mr. Murray Hill Flowers on the ticket), and must disguise himself for the rest of the trip in order to stay out of jail. He must also stay out of Whitney’s sight, because his boss specifically sent him off the ship and back to work. Billy thinks all this trouble is worthwhile, since he has the chance to convince Hope to fall in love with him.
    Billy convinces Reno to help him win Hope’s heart –You’re The Top. After the ship leaves the dock, Billy is able to spend some time alone with Hope because Evelyn is seasick. He sings her Easy To Love. Billy goes so far as to disguise himself as a sailor with Erma’s help. He convinces Evangeline Harcourt the boat is sinking, and convinces Whitney the whipped cream he throws on his glasses is from a seagull. Moon also helps Billy with his cause, by tricking Whitney and taking his glasses. Not only can Whitney not see Billy, but he can barely see anything during the whole trip. In fact in a funny scene, Whitney thinks he is proposing marriage to Evangeline and ends up asking the ship’s Purser to marry him. Moon and Reno come up with a plan for Reno to seduce Evelyn, and break up Evelyn and Hope. Reno and Moon sing Friendship. Although the plan fails, Reno realizes she really likes Evelyn and is genuinely interested in him romantically.
    At one point Billy disguises himself with a beard made of Evangeline’s dog’s hair. Minutes later Billy is dressed as a ludicrous version of an English gentleman, while Moon wears a white coat and carries a butterfly net. Billy and Moon try to convince Evangeline that her daughter is about to marry a crazy man, but Billy’s true identity is revealed before they are able to convince Evangeline that Evelyn is crazy. Billy’s next disguise is as an old lady in a wheelchair, and he sings It’s De-Lovely with Hope.
    The Purser finally catches Billy, who he thinks is Snake Eyes Johnson. But instead of being afraid of Snake Eyes, the passengers welcome him aboard and celebrate the criminal –Anything Goes. To get some attention himself, Moon confesses his true identity –Public Enemy Number One. Reno encourages Billy to pursue Hope. Moon uses his newfound notoriety to marry Reno’s Angel, Virtue, in a fake ceremony. During Reno’s Sermon/Nightclub act, many passengers confess to immoral behavior in the past. Evelyn is among the confessors, with the admission of an affair with a Japanese girl many years ago. Reno encourages more confessions with Blow, Gabriel, Blow, and Billy is next when he admits he is not really Snake Eyes and that he is on the ship to chase Hope. Billy and Moon are finally sent to the ship’s brig, and Hope sings Goodbye, Little Dream, Goodbye sadly.
    In jail Moon tries to cheer Billy up with Be Like The Blue Bird. Hope sends Billy a note, and they sing All Through The Night. Later that night Evelyn realizes and professes his love to Reno. He plans to carry out his obligation to Hope and marry her, though –The Gypsy In Me. The two Chinese converts run wild on the ship without Reverend Dobson’s supervision, and finally get themselves thrown in the brig with Billy and Moon. Reno visits the men in jail, and tells them that she and Evelyn are in love with each other. Billy and Moon trick the two converts in a game of strip poker, and change clothes with them. Instead of the converts being released from jail, Billy and Moon are set free just in time to stop Hope’s wedding to Evelyn.
    Erma opens the final scene with Buddie Beware. Reno joins Billy and Moon in their effort to break off the wedding. Reno pretends to be Evelyn’s illegitimate daughter from the affair he confessed to during Reno’s sermon. Evelyn is flustered by his unknown daughter’s appearance, and almost lets Whitney pay her off to disappear. Hope stops this from happening by coming up with a plan to pay the debt of honor: to even the score Evelyn must offer Hope to Plum Blossom’s relative, who is actually Billy. Now Hope and Billy, and Reno and Evelyn are together. Evangeline Harcourt is irate about this arrangement, because this means her daughter is not marrying a rich man. Whitney saves Evangeline’s day by proposing, but she may end up like her daughter – in love but poor – because Billy never sold Whitney’s stock for him. Whitney gets lucky and his stock goes through the roof. All three happy couples marry.

    Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter
    Original Book by P.G. Wodehouse & Guy Bolton
    and Howard Lindsay & Russel Crouse
    New Book by Timothy Crouse & John Weidman

    The names of the Authors shall appear immediately below the title. No credits, other than those for the Licensee and stars and the name of the theatre, shall appear above the title; no one other than the Licensee and stars billed above the title shall receive a credit larger or more prominent than the Authors.

    The Licensee shall afford the following credit on the title page of the program for the production:

    This version of Anything Goes was originally produced on Broadway by
    Lincoln Center Theater in 1987

    The title page of the program shall contain the following announcement in type size at least one-half the size of the authors’ credits:

    is presented by arrangement with
    560 Lexington Avenue, New York, New York 10022

  • Choose either Full Orchestration or Flexible Combo (Flexbo)

    Full Orchestration

    1 Reed 1: Piccolo, Flute, Clarinet & Alto Saxophone
    1 Reed 2: Flute, Clarinet, Soprano Saxophone & Alto Saxophone
    1 Reed 3: Oboe (or Clarinet), English Horn (or Clarinet), Clarinet & Tenor Saxophone
    1 Reed 4: Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone & Baritone Saxophone

    1 Trumpet 1 & 2 (both doubling Flugelhorn)
    1 Trumpet 3 (doubling Flugelhorn)
    1 Trombone 1
    1 Trombone 2
    1 Trombone 3 (Bass Trombone)

    2 Percussion 1 & 2:
    Trap Set Player: Bass Drum, Snare Drum, Tom-Toms, Floor Tom, Cow Bell, Wood Block, Small & Large Triangle, Temple Blocks, Cymbals (various Suspended, Splash, Chip, Ride), Hi-Hat & Gong.
    Mallet Player: Glockenspiel (Bells), Vibraphone, Xylophone, Marimba, Snare Drum, Field Drum (or Snare Drum w/o snares), Bongo Drums, Suspended Cymbal, Piatti, Finger Cymbals, Small Triangle, Cow Bell, Wood Block, Ship’s Bell, Temple Blocks, Maracas, Castanets, Cabasa, Tambourine, Ratchet, Sandpaper Blocks, Bird Whistle & Siren Whistle.
    1 Guitar (doubling Banjo and 12-String Guitar)
    1 Piano (doubling Keyboard Synthesizer for Celesta, Harmonium, Harpsichord & Church Organ registrations)

    1 Violin (One Player)
    1 Bass

    Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with rehearsal material.

    Optional additional materials are available (see list under Rehearsal Materials).

    Flexible Combo (Flexbo)

    The Flexbo is the best way to have the advantage of orchestral writing while using a smaller ensemble. The foundation of a Broadway orchestration is the rhythm section: Piano, Bass and Drums. The remainder of the orchestra — woodwinds, brass and strings — are the “melodic” parts added to provide richness, depth and tonal color. The number of players required for these added parts may be as few as nine and more often twenty to twenty-five. The four Flexbo parts, A, B, C and D, contain the essential musical lines heard from the “melodic” instruments in the full orchestration. While the best results will be achieved using all four Flexbo parts, they have been cued so that even fewer of them can be used.

    1 Flexbo A: Trumpet
    1 Flexbo B: Alto Saxophone, Clarinet & optional Flute & Piccolo
    1 Flexbo C: Tenor Saxophone & Clarinet
    1 Flexbo D: Trombone

    2 Percussion 1 & 2: (Mallet Player is optional)
    Trap Set Player: Bass Drum, Snare Drum, Tom-Toms, Floor Tom, Cow Bell, Wood Block, Small & Large Triangle, Temple Blocks, Cymbals (various Suspended, Splash, Chip, Ride), Hi-Hat & Gong.
    Mallet Player: Glockenspiel (Bells), Vibraphone, Xylophone, Marimba, Snare Drum, Field Drum (or Snare Drum w/o snares), Bongo Drums, Suspended Cymbal, Piatti, Finger Cymbals, Small Triangle, Cow Bell, Wood Block, Ship’s Bell, Temple Blocks, Maracas, Castanets, Cabasa, Tambourine, Ratchet, Sandpaper Blocks, Bird Whistle & Siren Whistle.
    1 Guitar (doubling Banjo & Twelve String Guitar); optional
    1 Bass

    Piano (playing from Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with rehearsal material)

    The Flexbo arrangement has been designed to sound complete when played by Piano only, or with the addition of one to eight players. The Piano is essential and must use the Piano-Conductor’s Score.

    Parts A, B, C and D must be added in alphabetical order. (Part B may not be used without Part A, etc.)

    The rhythm section players may be added to the Piano in any sequence, although Bass and one Percussion (on trap set) are more valuable than the two optional parts, the Guitar and the second Percussion (on mallet instruments).

  • 1       Piano Conductor’s Score
    1       Prompt Book
    30     Prompt Books with Vocal Parts for Cast & Chorus

    Original Cast CD, if available, is sent with perusal material.

    Optional Additional Materials

    1      Tams Rehearsal Aid
    1      Full Score (Partitur) in 2 volumes is available, at an additional charge, with the rental of the full orchestration. [SAMPLE]

  • Principals

    (3 female; 4 male)

    Reno Sweeney — a sexy evangelist turned nightclub singer
    Hope Harcourt — a beautiful debutante
    Lord Evelyn Oakleigh — a wealthy Englishman
    Elisha Whitney — a google-eyed tycoon
    Billy Crocker — Whitney’s young assistant
    Moonface Martin — a hapless gangster, Public Enemy No. 13
    Erma — a sexy gangster’s moll


    (5 female; 8 male)

    Evangeline Harcourt — Hope’s mother, a widow [non-singing]
    Luke and John — two Chinese converts

    Captain — of the S.S. American
    Purser — aboard the S.S. American

    Purity — Showgirl Angel #1 with Reno’s act
    Chastity — Showgirl Angel #2 with Reno’s act
    Charity — Showgirl Angel #3 with Reno’s act
    Virtue — Showgirl Angel #4 with Reno’s act

    Male Quartet of Sailors

    Assorted Others

    Fred — a bartender
    Henry T. Dobson — a minister
    2 Reporters
    News Photographer
    2 F.B.I Agents
    Old Lady in a Wheelchair

    Various Sailors
    Various Passengers — men and women

    Ship’s Crew — male chorus/dancers
    Ship’s Passengers — men and women, singers/dancers

    The original Broadway production had a cast of 32 performers, including chorus. Some doubling was employed in the minor parts.

  • ANYTHING GOES (Beaumont 1987) played for 784 performances on Broadway at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre starring Patty LuPone, Howard McGillin and Bill McCutcheon.

    In 2011 the show was revived at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre on Broadway, where it played for 521 performances starring Sutton Foster and Joel Grey.

    Awards (1988)

    3 Tony Awards for Revival, Leading Actress and Choreography
    3 Drama Desk Awards for Revival, Actress and Choreography
    The Theatre World Award (Linda Hart)

    Awards (2011)

    3 Tony Awards for Revival, Leading Actress and Choreography
    5 Drama Desk Awards for Revival, Leading Actress, Choreography, Sound Design and Set Design

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