The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update


April 16, 2014

Review: Classic Cole Porter tunes in 'Anything Goes'

Beef and Boards musical is fast-paced and fun-filled

INDIANAPOLIS -- Light-hearted entertainment reigns at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre as the stage is filled with sparkling costumes, quick stepping and even a little slapstick thrown into the mix. “Anything Goes,” now playing through May 11, may be a musical celebrating its 80th anniversary, but the humor is not lost on modern audiences.

With music by Indiana’s own Cole Porter, the show cranks out one well-known classic piece after another. Audience members will be surprised to learn that so many tunes they’ve heard through the years originated from the same musical. “I Get a Kick Out of You,” “Friendship,” “It’s Delovely,” and “Anything Goes” are only a few of the well-recognized songs.

Belting out the tunes are extremely talented cast members. Deb Wims, a regular at the venue, takes center stage with her rich, full, bold voice that perfectly suits her character, a nightclub singer named Reno Sweeney. A sweeter, but absolutely breathtaking tone comes from Whitney Meyer, who plays the love interest, Hope Harcourt.

A silly boy-meets-girl story ties the music and dancing together. A young broker, Billy Crocker, has fallen in love with Hope, but she is due to marry another man (in order to please her mother who is on the brink of ruin). He stows away on an ocean liner to be near her and try to win her heart. Through a series of mistaken identities and crazy hijinks (not to mention a ridiculous ending), Billy gets to marry Hope and her fiancé falls in love with Reno, the nightclub singer.

Granted, elements of the story are dated, but it is set in the 1930s, so that is to be expected.

But no one buys a ticket to a musical to root through an intricate plot. Musicals are spectacles of singing and dancing and this one fits the bill. Wims captures the eye as she changes from one show-stopping sparkling dress to another. One quick change is done almost in front of the audience as a fabulous dress becomes a silver fringe-laden leotard – which leaves spectators simply delighted.

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