Before the theater lights dim. Before the hush of anticipation falls over the audience. Before the orchestra strikes the first notes of the overture. Before the curtain rises and the first actor appears on stage.
Before all of that—a pre-performance air of ambience falls over SKyPAC’s immense lobby with its soaring three-story ceiling. The doors open and the first audience members drift in. As the lobby fills, a conversational hum rises, punctuated by the greetings of friends meeting up.
It’s opening night of “Anything Goes.” The show has drawn an audience of all ages, from animated grade school children to their parents and grandparents–all here with the expectation of being thoroughly entertained. Waiting to serve them is a small army of volunteers (aka “Ambassadors”) and SKyPAC staff, with smiles all around and an eagerness to make everyone feel welcome.
Half an hour before show time, I stand by the second floor railing, taking in the scene below, swept up by the excitement surrounding the opening night of this Tony award-winning, highly acclaimed Broadway revival.
* * *
Opening Night “Delight”
Originally produced in 1934, Cole Porter’s vibrant song and dance extravaganza was an enormous hit. One of the longest running musicals of the 1930s, it starred the legendary Ethel Merman and marked the peak of Cole Porter’s celebrated career as composer and lyricist.
Fortunately, we in Bowling Green don’t need to travel to New York City—or back in time—to attend a Broadway musical of such renown. As a prominent home for the arts, distinguished by a far-reaching reputation for excellence, SKyPAC is capable of booking shows the caliber of—and as “delightful” as– Anything Goes.
Everywhere it travels, from New York to San Francisco, Anything Goes elicits enthusiastic reviews.
- “Musical Comedy Joy!” says The New York Times.
- “So delightful, so delicious, so de-lovely!” marvels the Associated Press.
- “A TOP-NOTCH Cole Porter musical comedy!” enthuses the San Francisco Chronicle.
After 80 years, Porter’s songs—including “I Get a Kick Out of You,” “You’re the Top,” “It’s De-lovely,” “Blow, Gabriel, Blow” and, of course, the show-stopping “Anything Goes”—still resonate with today’s audiences.
As for the musical performances, the singing is superb, the dancing is dazzling and the tapping is near mind-boggling. In particular, Emma Stratton, playing Reno Sweeney, and Brian Krinsky, playing Billy Crocker, claim the stage and wow the audience.
* * *
Fifteen minutes before the opening act, I make my way to my seat. In the pit, the orchestra tunes up, creating a cacophony of sounds. To the peal of a horn, the thump of a drum, the high-pitched reverberation of violins, the audience streams in. Green-jacketed ushers hand out programs and help people find their seats.
The house lights dim. An expectant hush falls over the room. SKyPAC Executive Director Jan Zarr walks on stage to welcome the audience, noting, to general applause, that his son, Bradley, is among the cast. (Congratulations!)
The overture commences, the curtain rises, the first actors take the stage.
Finally. . . It’s show time!
* * *
Anything Goes is the first show in SKyPAC’s 2014-2015 Broadway musical series. Coming up are Sister Act, Flashdance-The Musical and Beauty and the Beast. Join in the excitement! Purchase your tickets now for the best seats.