Anything Goes Opening Night in Los Angeles

ANYTHING GOES Greeted with Enthusiasm, Opening Night at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles


The holiday season began on a cheerful note for Los Angeles theatergoers with the Nov. 28 Opening Night performance of “Anything Goes” at the Ahmanson Theatre at the Music Center in L.A.

Just as the play uplifted spirits at its first Opening Night nearly 80 years ago, composer Cole Porter’s magic still resonates today. As evidence, one needed to look no further than the conversations at the after-party in the Ahmanson lobby.

“You can see the enthusiasm,” said Michael Ritchie, artistic director of the Center Theatre Group.

Ritchie said Angelenos are fond of musicals, particularly during the holiday season, noting that many locals grew up with musical theater and are familiar with the music.

The 2011 Tony Award-winner for Best Musical Revival, “Anything Goes” includes some of Porter’s most iconic tunes, including “You’re the Top”, “I get a Kick Out of You”, It’s De-Lovely”, Let’s Misbehave,” and of course, “Anything Goes.” 

“It’s fun,” said Rachel York, who stars as nightclub singer Reno Sweeney. “(The play) takes you back in time. I was born too late to do all those Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies, so with this show I am able to pretend.”

“All these songs are hits,” said Erich Bergin, who plays opposite York as Billy Crocker.

Sandra Shipley, called Porter’s music versatile and timeless. “Everybody knows these songs,” said Shipley, another of the cast members who joined VIPs at the after-party. “The audience seems to be singing them with us.”  

Also attending the Opening Night performance were theater actors, songwriters and Center Theatre Group supporters, including Ed Begley, Jr., of “St. Elsewhere,” Grant Gustin of “Glee,” voice actress Rachael MacFarlane of “Family Guy” and “American Dad!,” Brooklyn Sudano of “My Wife and Kids,” Amber Stevens of “Greek” and Leah Renee of “The Playboy Club.”

More were Davis Gaines of Broadway’s “Phantom of the Opera,” composer Richard Sherman of “Mary Poppins;” Tony Award-winning lyricist David Zippel for “City of Angels;” Lawrence Bender, Charles Dillingham,
 Budd Friedman, Kearran Giovanni, Nicholas Guest, Ericka Hunter, Marco Pennette, 
Marian Rivera, Charles Shaughnessy, Joan Van Ark, Donald Webber, Jr. and Terri White.

ANYTHING GOES continues through Jan. 6.  For more tickets or more information, call (213) 628-2772 or click here.


Top photo: From left, “Anything Goes” stars Erich Bergen and Rachel York; director/choreographer Kathleen Marshall and Center Theatre Group artistic director Michael Ritchie at the after-party for ANYTHING GOES Opening Night in Los Angeles at CTG’s Ahmanson Theatre.

Second photo: From left, cast members Dennis Kelly, Joyce Chittick, Erich Bergen, Rachel York, Fred Applegate and Alex Finke at the curtain call for ANYTHING GOES Opening Night in Los Angeles at the Ahmanson Theatre

Third photo: Grant Gustin, aka Sebastian Smythe of “Glee,” arriving for ANYTHING GOES Opening Night in Los Angeles at the Ahmanson Theatre

Fourth photo: From left, actors Brooklyn Sudano of “My Wife and Kids,” Leah Renee of “The Playboy Club” and Amber Stevens of “Greek” at ANYTHING GOES Opening Night in Los Angeles at the Ahmanson Theatre   
All photos of ANYTHING GOES Opening Night in Los Angeles at the Ahmanson Theatre by Ryan Miller/ Capture Imaging, courtesy of the Center Theatre Group

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Anything Goes Opening Night in Los Angeles

Published Dec. 2, 2012 – Catherine de Castelbajac,  Special to Society News LA

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