From the Press

‘Anything Goes’ at Spring Lake Theatre

By Karen Meister

Audiences have come to expect outstanding performances from the Spring Lake Community Theatre and, for certain, they will be equally delighted with the current production of the musical “Anything Goes.”

After only five minutes into the performance, with the setting mainly taking place on a luxurious ocean liner, the ensemble has the audience on board, enjoying all the mayhem and music.

“Anything Goes” is a classic musical with music and lyrics by the well-known Cole Porter. The play made its debut in the 1930s and received rave reviews for years.

It continues to receive awards, such as a 2011 revival of the play, which has been nominated for several Tony Awards, and succeeded to win in several categories, including the best revival of a Broadway play in 2011.

The story line is simple but the action is far from ordinary. Boy meets girl and falls in madly in love, however, there is one glitch — the girl is engaged to be married while the ocean liner sails the seas from New York to London.

The boy, Billy Crocker, stows away on the ship in order to convince the girl, Hope Harcourt, to marry him, instead of her intended, Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. Things get complicated for Billy, but his faithful friend, Reno Sweeny, entertainer, and new-found friends, the street-wise Erma and her associate, Moonface Martin, “the FBI’s 13th most wanted man” figure out a plot to help Billy achieve his goal — to marry Hope.

With the many amusing twists and turns in the plot, the conclusion to this voyage will surely surprise the audience.

As one follows the antics of the various characters, one will be enthralled by the beautiful music and lyrics throughout the entire production. Songs, such as, “I Get a Kick Out of You,” “You’d Be So Easy to Love,” “You’re the Top,” “It’s De-Lovely,” and of course, “Anything Goes”.

This wonderful production with spectacular sets, costumes, choreography, and orchestra is produced by Pat Barry and directed by Kerry Baglivio, accompanied by Mary Lough, musical director, and talented orchestra, along with Colleen Mangan, choreographer, and many other crew members.

The cast is sensational combining song and dance with superb acting abilities. Bre Cade plays Reno Sweeney, the nightclub singer, and she is just fantastic. Her dynamic personality, coupled with a voice to match makes her a memorable character.

Billy Crocker is Reid Henderson’s role and Christine Baglivio plays Hope Harcourt, both giving a top rate performance. Hope’s mother is played by Janna Sedutto, who wants her daughter to marry “well” and is very pleased with the impending marriage of her daughter to Lord Evelyn Oakleigh, played by Martin Grubman. Elisha Whitney, the Yale alumni, is played by Billy Introcaso, and all are done to a tee.

Giving the show a bit more flavor is Laura-Beth Wonsala, who plays Erma, who is considered a hot number street woman and her associate Moonface Martin, played so well by Joe Ronga.

There are many more roles which make the performance so fantastic, from Reno’s “girls” to the ship’s captain, purser, sailors, and passengers.

So get one’s boarding pass for this spectacular voyage before the ship sails.

“Anything Goes” will be at the Spring Lake Theatre tomorrow and Saturday, Aug. 24 and 25.

Curtain is at 8 p.m.

Tickets are available at the Box Office, by calling 732-449-4530 or visiting online at

Bon Voyage.