Anything Goes in Tampa

(No... this is not a reference to last weekend's Nude Night exhibition.... for that event click here)

Anything Goes is the blast-from-the-past playing this week at the Straz Center. Originally produced in 1934, it has been updated a few times over the decades. While the current production still has plenty of crusty references and corny joke, the catchy tunes and rousing dance numbers will keep you chuckling while tapping your toes.

This is the part where I admit that I am generally not a fan of musicals... but I am nuts for Cole Porter! (In fact, I'm listening to the 1990 tribute album "Red Hot + Blue" right now). When the opportunity to attend this show came up I jumped into the queue. I am glad I did.

The Roundabout Theater Company did a bang-up job, with a boisterous Rachel York leading the way. She stole the show as sassy night club singer Reno Sweeney with her smooth moves, comedic timing and a gorgeous voice .

Several secondary characters also ruled the stage when their solos came up. Fred Applegate's Moonface Mooney carried off his 'Be Like The Bluebird' song with perfect old-school panache. Moonface's sidekick Erma (Joyce Chittick) and her crew of sailor boyfriends had a grand time (& made sure that we did too) during the peppy tune 'Buddy Beware'. Even the muddled English fiance, Evelyn, charmed the crowd into laughing out loud during his energetic performance of 'Gypsy in Me'.

I wont lie, there are some slow bits. Occasionally I found myself wishing Alex Finke, as lovesick Hope  Harcourt, had a stronger voice and presence. Maybe it was just me, but I occasionally had trouble catching her lyrics.

But with regular-Joes mistaken for criminals, troublemakers mistaken for clergy, and our hero Billy Crocker (Josh Franklin) mistaken for everything from a long-legged sailor to public enemy #1,  Anything Goes will keep you smiling.

Overall this classic tale of potentially unrequited love made for a fun night out. The big dance numbers had enough pizazz to impress both Fred Astaire fans and non-dancers like me. Filled with great music, boatloads of mistaken identity and plenty of snarky silly humor, this show was even more entertaining than I had expected.

C'mon - hop onto this stylish time machine for a saucy and slapstick visit to the 1930s. Anything Goes is playing at the Straz Center (Tampa, FL) through Sunday March 17. Some extra temptation: you can save 30% off Thursday's performances with promo code PORTER30.  Restrictions and charges apply.  For tickets and more information, call the Straz Center Ticket Office at 813.229.7827. This show is recommended for age 8+.

By the way, while the Straz Center generously gave me tickets to this event, the opinions stated here are 100% my own.  Have you caught this show sometime in the last 79 yrs? Please share, I would love to hear your thoughts. 


  1. Anything Goes looks like so much fun!

  2. I am familiar with the show but I didn't know it was going to be in Tampa. It probably isn't the first show I'd choose to go to since I am not so much into musicals anymore but my boyfriend and I are working on getting off our butts and doing more things in the area. Maybe a musical is a good start to this.