But, back in the 30's, 40's and 50's, especially, the rich and famous, the upper crust, the entertainers and gangsters, the businessmen and the tycoons all took long cruises to get away and to be seen. And that is the conceit of Cole Porter's Anything Goes, which debuted as a contemporary piece in the 30's, and enjoyed nostalgic and highly successful revivals in the 60's (off-Broadway) and the 80's (on Broadway). And, starting just yesterday, a new revival for the new millennium began previews at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre.
But the image... 30's style sass and glamour. The gal's got legs for miles, a winsome, slightly naughty smile of full red lips, and her high heels and "sailor suit" fairly screams, "I'm entertaining!" What more could you ask for from a single image for an old-fashioned musical? And they way they use her image is smart, too. Don't you love how she rides the waves of steam miles above the ocean liner, carefree and oblivious to any danger? Or how they have her draped over key words in a signature song from the show, "It's De-Lovely"? It is smart and vibrant and yet still old-fashioned in the best way.
In the months leading up to the first preview last month, the Roundabout sent out "e-postcards" featuring various holiday-themed sayings from Sutton Foster as Reno Sweeney. They are clever, not pushy, and help keep the show in mind. They also do something very important. They get us to thinking about Ms. Foster as someone other than Millie, Fiona or Jo. She is really taking on an adult role here, one generally associated with slightly older dames. The pictures at least show us that Foster can work as a sassy dame on the high seas. How she does live in performance remains to be seen, but I am confident.
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