Kristi, Erin, and I just got back from seeing Anything Goes at the Helfaer Theatre on the Marquette University campus. Normally, I would wait until the morning and then post something on Facebook or Twitter letting all of my friends know how much I enjoyed the show and reminding them to get tickets if they can. Instead, I decided that this message can’t wait. Tonight, I saw one of the best shows that I’ve seen in quite a while. And that is saying something because I’ve been very impressed with the whole season at MU this year.
Over the years, I’ve seen Anything Goes no less than four times. The first being at the Helfaer Theatre in 1985 (the last time MU performed this show) when my college roommate, Wally Schmidt, played one of the sailors in the show. I have to say that, without a doubt, I enjoyed tonight’s performance more than any of the others. The music was well performed, the set was clean and functional, and the costumes were just short of phenomenal. But it was cast and their acting, singing, and dancing that impressed me the most.
With A.J. being a junior at Marquette, I’ve seen many of this show’s performers in other productions and I am always impressed with how they practice their craft. All of the principals in this production are so very good and I could name something amazing about each of them, but I won’t. It is obvious that the actress playing Reno, Aileen O’Carroll, has put in a lot of work preparing for this role. She was a joy to watch. Also fun was watching the chemistry between Billy and Hope (Nick Parrott and Lindsay Webster). They really clicked. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the comic antics of A.J. Magoon as Sir Evelyn Oakleigh stole the show for me. I may be slightly biased but he was perfect for that role. The last two that I will call out for their comic genius were Michael Nicholas and Caroline Norton as Moonface and his sidekick/girlfriend, Bonnie. The two of them never dropped their NY accents and were a delight to watch even when they weren’t the focus of the scene.
I cannot urge you strongly enough to see this extraordinary show. There are two more performances this weekend, Saturday night and Sunday matinee. And then they take a week off for Easter and have five more performances, April 19th through the 23rd. I’ve already got tickets to see it at least one more time. Go! Get your tickets! You won’t be sorry.