Dukinfield A.O. & D.S.
Director: Robert Margolis
Musical Director: Dave Chapman
Choreographer: Jean Johnson
Cole Porter’s nautical musical has a silly plot typical of shows of the 1930s. It has been heavily revised since its first performance. This Beaumont version, presented by Dukinfield A.O.& D.S., was pure entertainment, on a good set and with a strong cast; it was all aboard for a voyage full of fun and frolics.
The director made sure that the pace was snappy, and the that humour floated to the fore. The dance numbers were full of energy with exciting tap routines all brought about by skilled dancers and by an enthusiastic company. Porter’s music was punched out in swing style capturing the mood and era. Everyone on stage was having a good time which added to our enjoyment of the show. Nothing got in the way of the energetic delivery. All the technical aspects necessary for the show were as important as each other and gave the show strength. There were no storms at sea on this cruise!
The costumes were correct for the individual characterisations, with hair and make-up giving that finishing touch to the pleasing theatrical picture.
Supporting the main story line, John Mercer (Captain), Liam Mullen (Purser), along with Anthony Park (Luke) and Andrew Cochrane (John) gave solid performances.
Andy Gibson always makes the most of a role; he delivered a well-drawn character as Elisha Whitney, full of fun. The maxim is, always make a good entrance, and Rosemarie Wood did just that. Rosemarie looked fabulous (what a hat): she was in total control and kept us laughing throughout the show. This was a lesson in stage craft.
Comedy is the very best tonic and in Anything Goes there was plenty of knock-about humour. At the helm was Seb Lassandro, as mobster Moonface Martin, disguised as a priest. Seb had great fun being public enemy number 13 and gave some sound prison cell advice in the funny “Be Like a Blue Bird”. He was aided in his adventures by moll “Buddie, Beware”, Erma, neatly characterised by Jessica Morris.
With strong physical humour, Scott Lees added to the mayhem, as Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. Scott clearly has “The Gypsy” in him. There was much hilarity in his antics, especially with Reno, and the story of “Little Plum Blossom”. He was a hoot.
In the lovers’ corner there was socialite, Hope Harcourt, capably portrayed and sung by Charlotte Beale. Chasing Hope’s affections is the resourceful and unrelenting Billy Crocker. Joseph Morgan, as the love-sick, Billy Crocker, convincingly wooed Hope. Their duet “All Through the Night” was “De-Lovely”.
Carolynne Jones-Crowder, as the larger-than-life cabaret singer and evangelist, Reno Sweeney, gave a knock-out performance. Carolynne was at home with all those great standards “I Get a Kick Out of You” and “Anything Goes”. Reno was the leader of the pack and never more so than in the company number, “Blow, Gabriel, Blow!”
By the time we disembarked the only remark for the musical Trip Adviser was, “There’s No Cure Like Travel”.