Anything Goes sets sail for Stephens Auditorium


Courtesy of the Iowa State Center

Anything Goes sails into Ames for its premiere performance at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 22 at Stephens Auditorium. 

Melissa Garrett

In the newest Broadway revival of Cole Porter’s classic musical theatre masterpiece, Anything Goes sails into Ames at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 22, with its premiere performance at Stephens Auditorium.

Since 1934, the award-winning musical comedy about lovers, liars and clowns on a transatlantic cruise has had more than a dozen revivals and won the 2011 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical, with music and lyrics by Cole Porter.

Originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania, actor Brian Krinsky began his career playing one of the other reindeer in a preschool production of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. 

Krinsky, who was recently the Beast/Gaston cover in the national tour of Beauty and the Beast, saw the Cole Porter production of Anything Goes at 20 years old for the first time and never imagined he would be playing Billy only a few years later.

 “At the time, I just remember enjoying the show and remember watching the guy who played Billy [and] thinking I would really enjoy this role,” Krinsky said. “It never crossed my mind that I would end up playing this role in this production.”

Krinsky said he has a lot in common with his character, whose love for Hope Harcourt is one of the driving plots in the musical.

“[Billy] is a smooth talker — sort of a charming individual with kind of a funny sense of humor. I think I mirror that in a lot of ways in my day-to-day life as well,” Krinsky said.

Being in Anything Goes is like a shot-gun experience that college could not have prepared him for, Krinsky said, and there is a lot of dancing and moving around on stage.

“It was kind of difficult to fully embody that sort of suave character,” Krinsky said. “Everything is choreographed [and] you have to sort of find this sort of way that the character moves.  It’s sort of that Mad Men sort of feel, where these guys are wearing three-piece suits and wooing the ladies.”

In the show, Krinsky said his character caters to his boss’s every need on Wall Street until he finds love in Hope Harcourt.

“[Billy] has these passions,” Krinsky said. “He’s driven and he’s in love and [it] sort of transfers over to his love Hope Harcourt, which is the love interest in the show and he kind of pursues her to the bitter end on this ship across the Atlantic.

Under direction of Sean McKnight and Jennifer Savelli, Kathleen Marshall’s original direction and choreography, which earned the 2011 Tony Award for Best Choreography, have been recreated in Anything Goes’ new revival. 

“Anything Goes is a big show for identity, misidentifying people and identity mix-ups,” said Sara Compton, outreach coordinator for the Iowa State Center. “It’s a feel-good, boy-meets-girl hilarity [and] it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

With high levels of energy and a number of dance routines and songs, Krinsky said the show is like a marathon for him, since he is constantly on the move and has to give 110 percent effort the entire time.

“When you’re doing eight shows a week you really have to learn to pace yourself,” Krinsky said. “For me, I imagine I have this battery with my week full of energy, and if I get to the end of my battery too soon, I might run out of steam.”

With two main couples — Billy Crocker and Hope Harcourt as well as Reno Sweeney and Lord Evelyn Oakleigh — the musical seeks to entertain its audience with explosive dancing and a roundup of Cole Porter’s nostalgic hits, including “You’re the Top,” “Friendship,” “I Get a Kick Out of You” and, of course, “Anything Goes.”

Anything Goes tickets are priced below $33 for ISU students and additionally range between $24 and $63. Tickets for the show are available through Ticketmaster and are also available for purchase at the Stephens Auditorium ticket office from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information, visit the Iowa State Center’s Web Page for Anything Goes or visit the tour website