Music and Lyrics by COLE PORTER
Original Book by P.G. WODEHOUSE & GUY BOLTON
and HOWARD LINDSAY & RUSSEL CROUSE
New Book by TIMOTHY CROUSE & JOHN WEIDMAN
This amateur production of ANYTHING GOES is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals Ltd. on behalf of Tams-Witmark LLC. www.concordtheatricals.co.uk
|Choreographer / Assistant Director
|Lord Evelyn Oakleigh
|Spit And Dippy
|Henry T Dobson
|Old Lady In A Wheelchair
In a New York City bar in the early 1930s, successful Wall Street banker Elisha Whitney waits impatiently for his assistant, Billy Crocker. Billy drops off some items for Whitney’s upcoming vacation but forgets Whitney’s passport. Billy agrees to deliver it on the cruise ship the following morning. As Whitney exits, Billy’s old friend Reno Sweeny arrives. A sexy Evangelist turned nightclub singer, Reno plans to travel on the same boat as Whitney. Reno is quite fond of Billy (“I GET A KICK OUT OF YOU”), but Billy is in love with a girl named Hope Harcourt.
The next morning, The SS American is set to sail (“THERE’S NO CURE LIKE TRAVEL”). The ship’s passengers include: American debutante Hope Harcourt; her wealthy English fiancé Lord Evelyn Oakleigh; Hope’s widowed mother, Evangeline Harcourt; Minister Henry T. Dobson and his two recent converts, a pair of rascally street toughs named Spit and Dippy; Reno Sweeny and her four showgirl Angels; and gangster (and Public Enemy #13) Moonface Martin, disguised as a minister, with his accomplice Erma. When Billy boards the ship, Whitney tells him to sell all shares of Amalgamated stock. But Billy is distracted when he discovers that Hope is sailing with her fiancé. He inadvertently identifies Minister Dobson as Moonface Martin, so two F.B.I. agents throw the minister in the ship’s brig, leaving Spit and Dippy – who turn out to be skilled pickpockets – to wander the ship without supervision.
Moonface and Erma thank Billy by offering him the unused ticket of their friend, Snake Eyes Johnson, who is wanted by the FBI as Public Enemy #1. Billy, determined to win Hope’s heart, accepts the ticket just as the ship sets off (“BON VOYAGE/THERE’S NO CURE LIKE TRAVEL”). Reno agrees to help Billy, but first she has to boost his confidence (“YOU’RE THE TOP”). While Evelyn nurses a bout of seasickness, Billy spends some time alone with Hope (“EASY TO LOVE”), but she feels obligated to marry Evelyn. Meanwhile, Whitney, an old Yale man, unsuccessfully attempts to woo Evangeline (“THE CREW SONG”).
Moonface and Erma come clean to Billy, and they help disguise him as a sailor (“THERE’LL ALWAYS BE A LADY FAIR”). While Billy masquerades as a sailor, Spit and Dippy make a killing by expertly playing cards, picking pockets and shooting craps. Moon and Reno come up with a plan for Reno to seduce Evelyn and break off his engagement to Hope (“FRIENDSHIP”). Though the plan fails, Reno develops a genuine romantic interest in Evelyn.
While donning crazy disguises, Billy and Moon tell Evangeline that Evelyn is insane, but Hope reveals Billy’s true identity. Hope is distraught by Billy’s antics, but – with Reno’s encouragement – she warms to his advances (“IT’S DE-LOVELY”). The Purser finally catches Billy and arrests him for being Snake Eyes Johnson, Public Enemy Number 1. The captain and passengers are thrilled to have a celebrity onboard, however, and they all rejoice (“ANYTHING GOES”).
Billy and Moon continue to receive star treatment (“PUBLIC ENEMY NUMBER ONE”). Reno and her Angels lead a nightclub act that is part entertainment, part religious revival. Several passengers confess to immoral behavior in the past: Evelyn confesses to a youthful tryst with a young Hollywood actress who was playing Anne Boleyn, and Billy apologizes to Hope, admitting his deceit. Reno leads a rousing musical celebration (“BLOW, GABRIEL, BLOW”), but the passengers are outraged that Billy is no celebrity, so Billy and Moon are sent to the ship’s brig. Evangeline announces that Hope and Evelyn will be married in the morning, and Hope is devastated (“GOODBYE, LITTLE DREAM, GOODBYE”).
In jail, Moon tries to cheer Billy up (“BE LIKE THE BLUE BIRD”) and Billy receives a love note from Hope (“ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT”). Meanwhile on deck, Evelyn realizes he’s in love with Reno (“THE GYPSY IN ME”). Spit and Dippy are jailed for gambling onboard. Reno visits the jail, and updates Billy and Moon. Spit reveals that he picked the Purser’s pocket, acquiring the jail cell keys. Before they escape, Spit and Dippy change clothes with Billy and Moon so everyone will be harder to detect. Meanwhile, on deck, Erma entertains a group of sailors (“BUDDIE, BEWARE”).
The wedding begins, but it’s soon interrupted by Billy and Moon, dressed in Spit and Dippy’s clothing, along with Reno, disguised as “Anne Boleyn.” The three impostors manage to cancel the wedding, and soon Hope and Billy end up together, as do Reno and Evelyn, and Evangeline and Whitney. Billy confesses that he never sold the shares of Amalgamated stock, but a telegram arrives saying that Amalgamated stock has gone through the roof, and Whitney is richer than ever! As the captain officiates a triple wedding, the entire company celebrates (FINALE: “IT’S DE-LOVELY”).