"There are at least four versions available on CD of revivals of Cole Porter's 1934 "Anything Goes". This Sony release of the 1962 revival original cast production, starring Eileen Rodgers, is by far the best of the four that I know. It's important to understand, however, that this version retains only about half the songs originally written for the 1934 production, and adds several other Porter favorites in their place. The story line - such as it is - easily lends itself to song substitutions. Before buying any version, it's helpful to compare the different songlists, and listen to a few clips if possible. The 1987 Lincoln Center revival production, available on RCA with the original New York cast starring Patti LuPone, also substitutes some songs, but fewer than on this Sony album. The same Lincoln Center production is also available on a First Night CD in its 1989 London cast recording, with Elaine Paige replacing LuPone; despite the largely different casts, these two arrangements are identical, and the two recordings sound very much the same. I tend to slightly prefer the later Paige over the original LuPone. In contrast, EMI's 1988 London studio cast version with Kim Criswell attempts an exact reconstruction of the original 1934 score; this songlist, and probably also its overall presentation, will be the most authentic but not necessarily the most satisfying of these four CDs - it's the one I find the least interesting."
A fine "Anything Goes" with the late Eileen Rodgers
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 09/12/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This 1962 off-Broadway revival of ANYTHING GOES was a huge success, enjoying a year-long run in Manhattan and later reopening in Las Vegas.Eileen Rodgers makes for an excellent, sultry Reno Sweeney, the singing chaunteuse-turned evangelist, with Hal Linden in fine form as Billy Crocker. Margery Gray (TOVARICH) is a delight as Bonnie. Also in the talented cast are Mickey Deems, Kenneth Mars, Mildred Chandler and Barbara Lang.Eileen Rodgers, who died only a few months ago (as of this review's writing) is a superb Reno, belting out the immortal Cole Porter standards "Anything Goes", "Blow, Gabriel, Blow" and "I Get a Kick Out of You".Highly-recommended."
Porter at his best!
Byron Kolln | 06/30/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Many people consider Kiss Me Kate(1948) to be Cole Porter's greatest musical, but in my opinion this piece, written 14 years before in 1934 and as such from a period in musical theater that has not turned out as many enduring hits as the decades that follow, is far superior, as it contains many more hit songs and is genuinly funny when seen on the stage. Indeed, this is one of the few musicals i know where the script could stand on its own and where the songs only serve to enhance the overall effect. I find it hard to believe that anything that has delighted audiences countless times in the years since its original opening, through many successful revivals and amateur productions could ever have been anything less then the result of long meticulous labour; it is mind boggling to think that it was in fact put together at short notice out of a completely different idea about a ship wreck. The original production must have been wonderful; I mean can you think of anyone who seems more suited to the part of Reno Sweeney than Ethel Merman. Yes, Eileen Rodgers. I have not had the privalige of hearing the 1987 recording so I cannot judge Patti LuPone's performance, but I can safely say to any prospetive buyer that the cast of this recording are of such a superior quality that one can overlook the fact that several of the songs have been ommited and others have been put in their place. The wonderful, Portery feel of the piece is not lost, as all the new additions are classic examples of his style that suit the piece perfectly. I simply cannot imagine Anything Goes without It's Delovely, Friendship and Take Me Back To Manhattan, and what would there be for the classic character of Bonnie if Heaven Hop and Let's Step Out were omitted? I love all the songs on this recording,(especially Blow, Gabriel, Blow and the title song) but my all time favorite has to be You're The Top. I believe I heard it at least 15 times in the week after I got the CD. Eileen Rodgers is of course wonderful, and I have a sneaking suspition that Hal Linden may have talent! Oh come on just buy it, it's glorious!"
Brilliant and flawless casting
M. Chang | Chicago, IL | 01/27/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Eileen Rodgers absolutely OWNS Reno Sweeney in this 1962 Off-Broadway revival, boasting a sexy and smoky voice that comes across as natural, sounding like a woman who's had her share of cigarettes, smokes, and men and lives to tell about it. Her rousing renditions of "I Get A Kick Out Of You" and "Anything Goes" are sheer joy and transport the listener to a cabaret lounge in Manhattan. The production is thankfully simple, with bare-bones orchestration, making it very different from jazzy and polished recording from the 1988 Patti Lupone revival (which is equally brilliant in its own right)."