Among the passengers heading for England on the luxury liner SS American are Reno Sweeney, a sometime celebrity evangelist turned nightclub entertainer and Lord Oakleigh, a wealthy English aristocrat, accompanied by his debutante fiancée, Hope Harcourt, her protective mother and Wall Street millionaire, Eli Whitney. Less legally on board are the stowaway Billy Crocker, desperately pursuing Hope, and Moonface Martin, Public Enemy Number Thirteen, desperately seeking the kind of notoriety enjoyed by Snake Eyes Johnson, whom the FBI believe to be making the trip in disguise.
The first golden age of American musical comedy in the 1930s produced a crop of masterworks from the Gershwins, Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin and Cole Porter. Their content was intentionally and exuberantly light-hearted, with farcical plots concerning highly satirised characters, but they nonetheless presented musical scores of exquisite sophistication and elegance. For our first excursion into this richly endowed territory, the National has chosen Cole Porter's Anything Goes.
The fabulous tune-filled, dance-peppered score includes I Get A Kick Out of You, You're The Top, It's De-Lovely, Blow, Gabriel, Blow, You'd Be So Easy To Love, All Through The Night and the galvanic title number Anything Goes, which in both music and lyric so captures the spirit of the age.