Anything Goes

Anything Goes

by John McGlinn
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Anything Goes

According to theater historian Miles Kreuger, one of three annotators of this 1988 studio cast recording of Cole Porter's Anything Goes, the show "has proved to be the most frequently revived musical of the 1930s and is performed almost daily by professional and amateur groups alike." Even so, it was relatively unperformed in major venues and rarely recorded until 1987, when a revised version opened on Broadway and became a hit. That production boasted both a new libretto and an altered score that interpolated songs from other Porter works. The whole point of this recording is to do the opposite, to present Anything Goes as it would have been heard in its original production, with the songs originally written for it in the original orchestrations where possible, restored where necessary. John McGlinn, another annotator, who also served as the recording's conductor, explains that many of the orchestrations were lost and that he labored with one of the orchestrators, Hans Spialek, then in his late 80s, to re-create them. This is the recording's chief selling point: it is a work of aural scholarship and, with a 144-page booklet, its notes presented in English, German, and French, and also a work of considerable research. All of that is impressive. But no attention at all is given in that lengthy booklet to the recording itself, which employs a cast of opera and operetta singers who, for the most part, lack the liveliness necessary to put across a frothy musical like this. Frederica Von Stade, as the ingénue Hope Harcourt, is especially stilted, while Cris Groenendaal, as the male romantic lead Billy Crocker, has none of the friskiness and charm the part calls for. Thank God, then, for Kim Criswell, who digs into the starring role of evangelist-turned-nightclub singer Reno Sweeney as if she were channeling its creator, Ethel Merman, but also with her own spunkiness, and saves the proceedings during the many songs in which she appears. And a second thanks must go for comic actor Jack Gilford as Moonface Martin (Public Enemy Number 13), who also adds some humor to what is supposed to be a musical comedy. Still, on the whole, this is a recording more valuable in theory than in practice, with a booklet that's more enjoyable than the disc it accompanies.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/17/2011
Label: Warner Classics
UPC: 5099994894424
catalogNumber: 48944

Album Credits

Performance Credits

John McGlinn   Primary Artist,Conductor
London Symphony Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Ambrosian Chorus   Choir, Chorus
Frederica Von Stade   Vocals
Kim Criswell   Vocals
Bruce Hubbard   Vocals
Cris Groenendaal   Vocals
Jack Gilford   Vocals
Michael B. Wailing   Vocals
Rebecca Caine   Vocals
Bryan Landrine   Vocals
Judy Green   Vocals
Simon Green   Vocals
Del-Bourree Bach   Vocals
Phil Ossafee   Vocals
Dustin Stacks   Vocals

Technical Credits

Robert Russell Bennett   Original Orchestration
Cole Porter   Composer
Russell Warner   Arranger
P.G. Wodehouse   Book
Hans Spialek   Original Orchestration
John Fraser   Producer
Michel Roubinet   Liner Note Translation
Russel Crouse   Revision
Howard Lindsay   Revision
Martin Cotton   Liner Notes
Eckhardt van den Hoogen   Liner Note Translation
Guy Bolton   Book

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Cole Porter: Anything Goes 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
While this recording follows very closely the original score, it is very tame compared to some of the other versions available. My personal favourite is the 1987 New Broadway Cast Recording of the revival starring Patti LuPone. Although LuPone's voice is shrill and most often annoying, the arrangements are upbeat, classy, and just downright fun compared to this recording. This recording's arrangements are almost all very slow and melodious. However, Kim Criswell is easily the best Reno that I have ever heard and she makes up for the slow arrangements. This disc comes with a 70 page book that is very informative. It includes: rare interviews, the 1934 playbill, lyrics, plot summaries for each seperate scene, and info about each song.