You know you’re dealing with a Broadway classic play if production companies all over the United States of varying sizes and access to resources just can’t stop doing local productions of it. If you agree with this definition of ‘classic’ then ‘Anything Goes’-based on Cole Porter’s classic lyrics and music-definitely fit the bill. Ever since its original production in 1934, Anything Goes has gone through an almost endless amount of productions both on and off Broadway.
It has been adapted for the silver screen twice. Talk about staying power. To this day, this amazing musical is one of the mainstays of community and school play production groups both in the United States and the United Kingdom. This website contains analysis that steps you through why Anything Goes continues to engage us more than 80 years since it graced Broadway.
While the story of this musical play has gone through four major revisions-each paired with a production revival-Anything Goes’ magic is rooted in its solid music courtesy of the incomparable Cole Porter. The first version of its libretto, of course, is the original 1934 production. This version sets the backbone of the story which remains largely unchanged by the play’s 1962, 1987, and 2011 revival productions. The big changes introduced by later revivals focus on bringing back a cut scene as well as different musical sequences. Some songs have also been changed. On the whole, the story that weaves the whole musical together remains the same.
Classic Cole Porter numbers like ‘I get a kick out of you’ (popularized by Frank Sinatra and others), Anything Goes, punctuate this rather light, breezy, and highly entertaining musical. Besides the music, there are certain classic story elements that make the play easy to relate to even in this day and age. We might be living in a world with vastly different technologies and attitudes as 1930s Depression-era America but certain topical elements from Anything Goes still manage to resonate with us today.