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Toby’s Dinner Theater Anything Goes

By • Jun 25th, 2011 • Category: Reviews
Anything Goes
Toby’s Dinner Theater
Toby’s Dinner Theater-Columbia, Columbia, MD
Through August 28th
2:20 with one intermission
$49-$52/$33.50 Children
Reviewed June 22nd, 2011

Anything Goes, the 1962 Off-Broadway revival with music and lyrics by Cole Porter is a Tony award-winning play being performed at Toby’s Dinner Theatre in Columbia, Maryland. The story revolves around a group of passengers traveling to England aboard the S.S. American. One is an engaged couple with her mother, a singing sensation star and her starlets, a couple of gangsters, throw in a real priest and a couple of converts and you have a hilarity, music, and dancing abounding.

Toby’s is a theatre in the round style and director Toby Orenstein made positive decisions in keeping the action moving in such a way that there always seemed to have an actor or actors facing us with minimal “backs to the audience.” Even with the curtain call the rotating bows kept the audience engaged. The lighting effects were smooth and the live orchestra added to the energy. There were occasions when the mics seemed too loud. There may have been some minor rustling by the sound team, but you have so much to keep track of that these were just minor glitches that in no way detracted from an otherwise superb evening. The dancers were pretty in sync with high energy and high kicks and lots of enthusiasm!

Cathy Mundy as Reno Sweeney gave an energetic and commanding performance. Her big powerful voice rocked the rafters (although in this case it was a ship’s portholes). Her easygoing style was combined with true feelings of love towards a man engaged to someone else. This is no way deterred Reno. She saw it as a challenge. The rapscallion Billy Crocker played by Jeffrey Shankle was full of life and vitality. His over the top moves and strong voice carried throughout the stage. His devotion to Hope Harcourt was real and his desire to win her back from fiancĂ© Evelyn Oakleigh (Lawrence B. Munsey) was true and heartwarming. Just about as heartwarming as Hope Harcourt’s (Gracie Jones) love for Billy. When she thought Billy had turned away from her she was heartbroken. Yet since this is a musical comedy so in the end everyone lives happily ever after.

Toby’s Anything Goes was a fun, high energy show.

Cast

  • Reno Sweeney: Cathy Mundy
  • Billy Crocker: Jeffrey Shankle
  • Hope Harcourt: Gracie Jones
  • Lord Evelyn Oakleigh: Lawrence B. Munsey
  • Moonface Martin: David James
  • Bonnie Letour: Tina DeSimone
  • Elisha J. Whitney: Andrew Horn
  • Mrs. Evangeline Harcourt: Victoria Winter
  • Purity: Emily Madden
  • Chastity: Vicky Mahoney
  • Charity: Julia Lanciione
  • Virtue: Debra Buonaccorsi
  • Ching: Jordan Klein
  • Ling Ben Gibson
  • Captain: Charlie Abel
  • Bishop Henry T. Dobson/Purser: Alan Hoffman
  • Reporter: Ryan Patrick Welsh
  • Photographer/Drunk: Nick Lehan
  • Ships Crew/Passengers/Sailors/Girls: Esther Covington, Ben Gibson, David Jennings, Jordan Klein, Nick Lehan, Amy Sonntag, Ryan Patrick Welsh
  • Swings: Danny Romeo & Elena Crall
  • Understudies
    • Reno: Debra Buonaccorsi
    • Billy: Nick Lehan
    • Moonface: Jordan Klein
    • Sir Evelyn & Whitney: Alan Hoffman
    • Bonnie: Julia Lanciione
    • Captain: Ben Gibson
    • Purser: Ryan Patrick Welsh
    • Mrs. Harcourt: Esther Covington

Crew

  • Director: Toby Orenstein
  • Assistant Director: Lawrence B. Munsey
  • Musical Director: Ross Scott Rawlings
  • Choreographer: Tina DeSimone
  • Set Designer: David A. Hopkins
  • Costume Designer: Lawrence B. Munsey
  • Costume Assistant: Dell Lotman
  • Lighting designer: Coleen M. Foley
  • Sound Designer: Drew Dedrick
  • Production Manager: Vickie S. Johnson
  • Production Stage Manager: Kate Wackerle
  • Stage Managers: Drew Dedrick, Kate Wackerle
  • Technical Director/Master Electrician: Jimmy Engelkemier
  • Master Carpenter: Jason Krznarich
  • Set Construction: Corey Brown, Jason Krznarich, Russell Sunday
  • Properties & Set Dressing: Amy Kaplan
  • Light Board Operators: Cheryl Hale, Coleen M. Foley, Erin McDonald
  • Sound Operators: Drew Dedrick, Jimmy Engelkemier
  • Stage Crew: Erin McDonald, Ashley Grant, Jason Britt

Orchestra

  • Conductor/Keyboard 1: Ross Scott Rawlings or George Knauf
  • Keyboard II: Ann Prizzi or Ed Myers
  • Reeds/Woodwinds: Charlene McDaniel. Katie Kellert, Steve Haaser or Stacey Antoine
  • Trumpet: Tony Neenan, Craig Taylor, or Frank Gorecki
  • Trombone: Jay Ellis or Griz Gifford
  • Drums Percussion: Aaron Holmes, Anders Eliasson or Jack Loercher

Disclaimer: Toby’s Dinner Theater provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review.

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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

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