Glorious musical Anything Goes has started its run at the Barbican Theatre in London.
And it’s a solid gold, five star hit!
The critics loved it, with Broadway powerhouse Sutton Foster, who reprises her Tony Award winning role as Reno Sweeney, singled out for carrying the show and blowing the roof off the Barbican.
Tony, Olivier and BAFTA winner Robert Lindsay as Moonface Martin also gets lots of praise, as does acting royalty and Evening Standard Theatre Award-winner Felicity Kendal as Evangeline Harcourt.
Cole Porter and PG Wodehouse’s hit musical comedy is set on the SS Americana and follows two pairings that try to find love on the high seas. It features classic numbers such as “I Get A Kick Out of You”, “You’re the Top”, “It’s De- Lovely!” and “Anything Goes”.
The show is directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall whose 2011 Broadway revival was nominated for 9 Tony Awards winning for Best Revival and Best Choreography.
Anything Goes has been extended at the Barbican Theatre, and will now run to 31 October 2021.
A round-up of Anything Goes reviews
The Guardian ★★★★★
“Sutton Foster dazzles in Cole Porter’s fizzing tonic for our times”
“This 1934 show is Depression-era escapism fit for post-Covid times. If you want to remove yourself from the world for a few hours, this is the place to do it.”
“The main thing to know is there’s Sutton Foster, the US actor already won a Tony for her performance as Reno Sweeney on Broadway. The show revolves around her full-beam lustre. She can belt and growl like a brassy broad (Ethel Merman originated the role) or let her voice ring pure and clear. She can play moments of vulnerability but most of all she’s just having fun, rattling out dance numbers, leading the chorus, getting a kick out of the show…”
Lyndsey Winship, The Guardian
Time Out ★★★★
“Sutton Foster blows off the roof in this sublime revival of the classic musical”
“They don’t make ’em like this anymore – and even if they did, the massive cast and sumptuous orchestra still feel like an astonishing luxury anomaly in pingtastic 2021. But it feels fresh: the only thing to prompt a real eyebrow-raise in 2021 is the late number ‘The Gypsy in Me’ – it’s basically harmless, but I don’t think anyone would write it today.”
“Veteran Brit Robert Lindsay can’t really hope to keep up with her (the man’s 71 for chrissakes) but he offers her a terrific comic foil as shambolic second-tier gangster Moonface Martin, who has snuck on board the ship for Reasons, and essentially spends the show threatening to do something terrible to somebody with a machine gun, while remaining relentlessly cuddly. Wilfully dysfunctional and ad-libbing all over the shop, Lindsay has a very entertaining duet with Reno (‘Friendship’) in which he mostly tries to get Foster to corpse, which is genuinely great fun. “
Andrzej Lukowski, Time Out London
“An explosion of joy. Sutton Foster makes a sensational London stage debut”
“This is the third Anything Goes I’ve seen over the years in London and by some measure the best, chiefly for offering the first truly triple-threat Reno Sweeney encountered this side of the Atlantic, albeit in the form of two-time Tony-winner Sutton Foster, the Broadway regular here making a headline-grabbing London debut.”
Matt Wolf, The Arts Desk
The Times ★★★★★
“Bubbly wit and stylish fun: it’s just the ticket”
“It’s the musical equivalent of sipping one glass of champagne after another. The songs and the dialogue are so stylish that, by the time the evening comes to an end, you simply want it to start all over again.”
“Kathleen Marshall’s revival of Cole Porter’s vintage show comes at just the right time. A musical that delighted audiences during the Great Depression returns to cheer us up as we emerge from the rigours of lockdown.”
Clive Davis, The Times
The Financial Times ★★★★
“Anything Goes offers the delirious delight of a musical in full sail”
Sarah Hemming, FT
The Stage ★★★★★
“It’s delightful, It’s delicious. Sutton Foster makes her London debut in a sumptuous production of the classic Cole Porter musical”
“Though Sutton Foster is the big draw here, Nicole-Lily Baisden, Carly Mercedes Dyer and Samuel Edwards also dazzle in Kathleen Marshall’s production of the Cole Porter classic. The show combines star pull with sheer talent, topping things off with a sheen of stunningly slick comedy. It’s delightful, it’s delicious, etc.”
Tim Bano, The Stage
The Telegraph ★★★★★
“A show that will make you gasp in wonder and laugh till it hurts”
“The Barbican’s joyous revival of a Cole Porter classic – charming, hilarious and packed with epic ensembles – will set your world to rights”
Marianka Swain, The Telegraph
The Evening Standard ★★★★★
“You’ll get a kick out of this dazzling Cole Porter revival”
“Tony Award winner Sutton Foster shines in this terrific production at the Barbican – surrender is the only option”
“Her irresistible performance, alongside rock-solid turns from Robert Lindsay, Felicity Kendal and Gary Wilmot, some bright young romantic leads and a very tight ensemble, ensures a terrific show. A breathtaking, tap-dancing rendition of the title song, bringing act one to a close, also brought a packed Barbican to its feet.”
Nick Curtis, The Evening Standard
Date: 10 August 2021
Written by: Paul Raven
Tags: Anything Goes, Barbican Theatre, Robert Lindsay, Sutton Foster