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Music Pier crowed bedazzled by Ocean City Theatre Company's 'Anything Goes!" - Ocean City Sentinel: Arts & Entertainment

Music Pier crowed bedazzled by Ocean City Theatre Company's 'Anything Goes!"

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Posted: Thursday, September 9, 2010 1:00 am

A big crowd at the Music Pier on Sept. 5 was utterly bedazzled by the Ocean City Theatre Company production of “Anything Goes!”

The Broadway show was written in the late 1920s by P.G. Wodehouse and Guy Bolton, and may have been slightly dated in some ways, but the dialogue and jokes still got big laughs.

The show was a huge success for many reasons. First and foremost was Michael Hartman’s magic. He has a knack for making a good show even better. “Anything Goes!” was a winner back in the 1920s and still is. Good stuff lasts. Of course, Cole Porter’s music and lyrics didn’t hurt and the superb cast, backed by the marvelous sound of the Ocean City Pops, made a near perfect theatrical package.

The Billy Kametz sets provided the icing on the cake. The dancing by almost the entire cast was of professional quality and was beautifully coordinated by choreographer Kelly Swartz. She even made the klutziest of them into regular Astaires.

Most shows have a fair number of stars, and in “Anything Goes!” Allyson Pace, no doubt, stole the show right before everyone’s eyes. Earlier in the summer she was Lucy Van Pelt in “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown,” but the Ethel Merman-esque part of Reno could have been written for her. She had all the best songs and scored with each one. She has tremendous dancing and singing talent and was a natural onstage. That was evident from the first moment when she and Michael Schultz sang “You’re the Top.” She did ti again with “I Get a Kick Out of You.”

Schultz got his share of glory when he sang “It’s Delovely,” with Jenny Piersol. Their youthful voices blended nicely.

John Anker Bow was hysterical as the English nobleman with a stiff upper lip but flexible morals. Not only that, but he got in some great comic dancing too.

Hartman is a positive casting genius. He gathers talented young people from all over the landscape and taps the local supply of theater veterans. Marcia Dunlap enhances any show with her versatility and Greg Dragon is a champion comic actor.

Allyson Pace kept up her delightful thievery throughout the show. She, with Schultz and Bobby Underwood, made a comic masterpiece out of “Friendship,” which Cole Porter was so fond of that he recycled the tune in several shows. Underwood had a ball as gangster Moonface Martin, who kept waving a submachine gun around, although his heart wasn’t in it to be a successful public enemy.

The Ocean City Pops gave the performers wonderful support with incredible work by every section and added saxophones. The Pops is full of real troopers who give their all for Maestro Scheible. The results produce a genuine Broadway sound.

When “Anything Goes!” ended with a bang, it got a deserved standing ovation.

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