What do you get when you put a soon-to-be-engaged debutant, public-enemy No. 13 and an evangelical nightclub singer on a boat? You would get the hilarious musical comedy by Cole Porter, ‘Anything Goes.’ On Friday ‘Anything Goes,’ Directed by Garry Lennon, opened in CSUN’s Campus Theatre in Nordhoff Hall.
The play follows a young man named Billy Crocker (Addison Goss) on a quest to stop his true love, Hope Harcourt (Julia Aks), from marrying another man ‘- even if it means sneaking aboard a boat headed to London, risking his job and getting arrested to do it. Along the way we meet Reno Sweeny (Mary Lynn Deagon), a smooth-talking, nightclub-singing evangelist who was once in love with Billy, and Moonface Martin (George A.V. Ackles), an inadequate gangster who longs to be public enemy No. 1. Along with 25 other outrageous and eccentric characters, the passengers of the S.S. American are in for a voyage that is anything but ordinary.
Opening night of ‘Anything Goes’ was ripe with energy, anticipation and surprises. The cast was more than able to deal with any opening night speed bumps that were thrown their way. Actor David Case who played Elisha Whitney was able to carry on a scene even after his porthole window fell off. While some actors may just try to pretend it didn’t happen, Case realized the set piece was unavoidable and added a perfect ad-lib: ‘Either there was an earthquake or I’m really drunk.’ His save was not only hilariously timely but a fantastic demonstration of talent and wit.
It wouldn’t be right to talk about a musical without mentioning the music, and while all the cast members were excellent singers one has to recognize Mary Lynn Deagon, who played Reno Sweeny. Deagon, who lead nearly half-a-dozen numbers, not only sang well but truly brought the character of Reno Sweeny to life. It is rare to find a triple threat these days, but Deagon is one of the few who can rightfully have that title. ‘Anything Goes’ is the embodiment of the all-American musical. Come take a whimsical ride on the S.S. American, running now through May 3. Tickets are available at the CSUN box office, (818) 677-2488. ‘