Anything Goes

Original Broadway Production

Anything Goes [playbill]

A Musical Comedy in Two Acts
Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter
Book by Guy Bolton and P. G. Wodehouse, revised by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse

Tryouts began November 5, 1934 at the Colonial Theatre, Boston

Opened November 21, 1934 at the Alvin Theatre, NYC
Transferred September 30, 1935 to the 46th Street Theatre
Closed November 16, 1935; Ran for 420 performances
Produced by Vinton Freedley
Directed by Howard Lindsay
Dance and ensembles by Robert Alton
Settings by Donald Oenslager
Gowns by Jenkins
Orchestra conducted by Earl Busby
Orchestrations by Russell Bennett and Hans Spialek
Choral arrangements by Ray Johnson


Reno Sweeney, an evangelist turned bar hostess, gets such a kick out of Billy Crocker that she boards a Europe-bound liner to dissuade him from pursuing Hope Harcourt.  Although Billy dreams of Hope all through the night, Hope is determined to marry Sir Evelyn Oakleigh.  Crocker has boarded without a ticket, so is forced to adopt a number of disguses.  Also aboard is a wistful little man, the Reverend Dr. Moon, whom the FBI has branded "Public Enemy 13".  Moon's ambition is to rise to the top of the list.  On landing, Hope discovers she has become an heiress, drops her Englishman and consents to marry Billy.  Oakleigh turns his attention to Reno, and Moon, to his dismay, learns that he has been judged harmless and dropped from the FBI list.

Anything Goes [sheet music]


William Gaxton (Billy Crocker)
Ethel Merman (Reno Sweeney)
Victor Moore (Reverend Dr. Moon)
Bettina Hall (Hope Harcourt)
Paul Everton (Elisha J. Whitney)
Vera Dunn (Bonnie Letour)
Vivian Vance (Babe)
Leslie Barrie (Sir Evelyn Oakleigh)

George E. Mack (Bartender), Helen Raymond (Mrs. Wadsworth T. Harcourt), Houston Richards (Chief Officer), Irvin Pincus (Bellboy), Edward Delbridge (Reporter #1), Chet Bree (First Cameraman), Neal Evans (Second Cameraman), Pacie Ripple (Bishop Dodson), Richard Wang (Ching), Charlie Fang (Ling), Drucilla Strain (Snooks), William Stamm (Steward), Val Vestoff (Assistant Purser), Harry Wilson (G-Man #1), John Walsh (G-Man #2), Arthur Imperato (Second Federal Man), May Abbey (Mrs. Wentworth), Florence Earle (Mrs. Frick), William Barry (Ship's Drunk), Maurice Elliott (Mr. Swift), Billy Curtis (Little Boy), John C. King (Captain); The Foursome: Ray Johnson, Del Porter, Marshall Smith, Dwight Snyder; The Alvin Quartette: Stuart Fraser, David Glidden, Richard Nealy, John Walsh; The Ritz Quartette: Chet Bree, Edward Delbridge, Neal Evans, William Stamm; Reno's Angels: Ruth Bond, Norma Butler, Enez Early, Marjorie Fisher, Ruth Gomley, Irene Hamlin, Renee Johnson, Irene Kelly, Leoda Knapp, Doris Maye, Lillian Ostrom, Jackie Paige, Mary Philips, Cornelia Rogers, Ruth Shaw, Eleanore Sheridan, Frances Stewart; Passengers: Kay Adams, Lola Dexter, Helen Folsom, Maurine Holmes, Evelyn Kelly, Marquita Nicholai, Ethel Sommerville, Finette Walker; Ship's Orchestra: The Stylists

Note: When the production transferred to the 46th Street Theatre on September 30, 1935, the role of Reno Sweeney was played by Benay Venuta.

Musical Numbers

    Act One

    • Overture - Orchestra
    Scene 1: The Weylin Caprice Bar
    • "I Get a Kick Out of You" - Reno and Billy
    Scene 2: The Afterdeck. Midnight sailing
    • "Bon Voyage" / "There's No Cure Like Travel" - Ensemble
    • "All Through the Night" - Hope and Billy
    Scene 3: Mr. Whitney's and Dr. Moon's Cabins. The next morning
    • "There'll Always Be a Lady Fair" [alternate title: "Sailor's Chantey"] - Four Sailors
    Scene 4: The Afterdeck. Same morning
    • "Where Are the Men?" - Bonnie, Angel, Petty Officer and Girls
    • "You're the Top" - Reno and Billy
    Scene 5: Sir Evelyn's Cabin
    • "Sailor's Chantey" (reprise) - Four Sailors
    Scene 6: The Deck
    • "Anything Goes" - Reno, Four Sailors and Ensemble
    • "You're the Top" (reprise) - Reno

    Act Two

    • Entr'acte - Orchestra
    Scene 1: The Lounge. That evening
    • "Public Enemy Number One" - Passengers
    • "Blow, Gabriel, Blow" - Reno and Ensemble
    Scene 2: The Brig. Five days later
    • "Be Like the Bluebird" - Doctor Moon
    • "All Through the Night" (reprise) - Hope and Billy
    • "Buddie, Beware" - Reno [dropped after the New York opening and replaced by the reprise of "I Get a Kick Out of You"]
    Scene 3: Conservatory of Sir Evelyn's Home in England
    • "The Gypsy in Me" - Hope and Girls
    • Finale ("Anything Goes") - Entire Company

Cut Songs

  • "Waltz Down the Aisle" [dropped before the Boston tryout]
  • "What a Joy to Be Young" [dropped before the New York opening; alternate title: "To Be In Love and Young"]
  • "Kate the Great" [unused]

Original Cast Recordings

"You're the Top" / "I Get a Kick Out of You" - Ethel Merman with Johnny Green's Orchesttra

  • 78 RPM, 1934 [Brunswick 7342] A-side charted December 22, 1934; peaked at #4; B-side charted January 5, 1935; peaked at #12

"There'll Always Be a Lady Fair" / "The Gypsy in Me" - Anything Goes Foursome

  • 78 RPM, 1935 [Victor 24817]

Contemporaneous Recordings

"All Through the Night" / "You're the Top" - Harry Rosenthal & His Orchestra [A-side vocal: Helen Ward; clarinet: Benny Goodman]

  • 78 RPM, 1935 [Columbia 2986] A-side charted January 26, 1935; peaked at #18

"Anything Goes" / "All Through the Night" - Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra [A-side vocal: Ramona Davies / B-side vocal: Bob Lawrence]

  • 78 RPM, 1934 [Victor 24770] A-side charted December 22. 1934; peaked at #5; B-side charted December 29, 1934; peaked at #8

"Anything Goes"/ "All Through the Night" - The Dorsey Brothers Orchestra

  • 78 RPM, 1934 [Decca 318]

"Anything Goes" / "Two Little Babes in the Wood" [from Greenwich Village Follies of 1924] - Cole Porter

  • 78 RPM, 1935 [Victor 24825]

"Be Like the Bluebird" / "I'm a Gigolo" [from Wake Up and Dream]- Cole Porter

  • 78 RPM, 1935 [Victor 24843]

"Blow, Gabriel, Blow" - Enric Madriguera & His Orchestra [vocal: Tony Sacco]

  • 78 RPM, 1935 [Victor 24818] Charted January 19, 1935; peaked at #13

"I Get a Kick Out of You" / "Anything Goes" - Leo Reisman & His Orchestra [A-side vocal: Sally Singer]

  • 78 RPM, 1935 [Brunswick 7332] A-side charted January 19, 1935; peaked at #20

"You're the Top" / "All Through the Night" - Hal Kemp and His Orchestra

  • 78 RPM, 1934 [Brunswick 7322]

"You're the Top" / "I Get a Kick Out of You" - Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra [A-sidde vocal: Peggy Hely & John Hauser / B-side vocal: Ramona Davies]

  • 78 RPM, 1934 [Victor 24769] A-side charted November 24, 1934; peaked at #2 for three weeks; B-side charted December 15, 1934; peaked at #3

"You're the Top" / "I Get a Kick Out of You" - Bob Causer and His Cornellians

  • 78 RPM, 1934 [Banner 33292]

"You're the Top" / "I Get a Kick Out of You" - The Dorsey Brothers Orchestra [A-side vocal: Bob McKinley]

  • 78 RPM, 1934 [Decca 319] A-side charted December 22, 1934; peaked at #17

"You're the Top" / "I Get a Kick Out of You" - George Hall

  • 78 RPM, 1934 [Bluebird B-5765]

"You're the Top" - Sonny Schuyler with Loretta Lee

  • 78 RPM, 1934 [Bluebird B-5765]

"You're the Top" - Thomas "Fats" Waller

  • 78 RPM, 1935 [Victor LPT-6001]

"You're the Top" - Decca All-Star Review

  • 78 RPM, 1935 [Decca 345]

"You're the Top" / "Thank You, So Much, Mrs. Lowsborough-Goodby - Cole Porter

  • 78 RPM, 1935 [Victor 24766] Charted January 12, 1935; peaked at #10

Other Productions

  • 1935 London Production
  • 1936 Film Version
  • 1950 Television Adaptation
  • 1954 Television Adaptation
  • 1956 Film Version
  • 1962 Off-Broadway Revival
  • 1969 London Revival
  • 1987 Broadway Revival
  • 1989 London Revival
  • 1989 Studio Recording
  • 2002 London Revival
  • Go to Recordings of Anything Goes

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