The Chronicle sketch artist could have been drawing me (If I were a bald man who dropped his hat) the night my daughter and I went to see the Cole Porter classic musical, Anything Goes at the Golden Gate Theater in San Francisco. Considering these lyrics and storyline was written in 1934, I was blown away by how timely and clever they were today. Love is still cruel, gangsters still run from the law, and the truth always strikes a cord. The strong female lead, Reno Sweeny, played by Rachel York, could have stolen the show, if the rest of the cast, including Erich Bergen who plays her love interest, Billy Crocker along with the rest of the cast, weren't also mesmerizing. Judging by the deafening applause throughout the show, I wasn't alone in my adoration. Natalie, my jaded eleven year old, even grabbed my hand a few times, with that 'Oh-my-God-this-is-amazing" look usually reserved for red velvet cupcakes. "I'm going to learn this on the piano," she whispered at one point. I was surprised by how many of the songs were familiar to both of us.
It's de-Lovely – "The night is young, the skies are clear, So if you want to go walking, dear, It's delightful, it's delicious, it's de-lovely."
You're The Top – "I get no kick from champagne. Mere alcohol doesn't thrill me at all, So tell me why should it be true, That I get a kick out of you?"
Friendship – "If you're ever in a jam, here I am, If you're ever in a mess, S.O.S., If you ever feel so happy, you land in jail, I'm your bail"
According to critic Robert Hurwitt of SFgate.com, this version of Anything Goes has even more Cole Porter classics than most. He also summed up the success of the show – better than I can, so I will just borrow from him.
"Principal credit has to go to Porter's delectable score and wondrously witty lyrics. But considerable kudos are due director-choreographer Kathleen Marshall's smooth, fleet-footed and boundlessly beguiling stagings as well. SHN is presenting the national tour of Marshall's recent Roundabout Theatre Company production that garnered well-earned Tony Awards for best musical revival and for Marshall's vibrantly eclectic, swirling choreography, with its exhilarating extended ensemble tap-dance break on the title song closing the first act on an unforgettable high."
Parking/Dinner: To make it easy, we went early and parked at the open air lot on Taylor across from the theater. It's usually a $9 flat rate -but I had no problem giving the guy $20 and getting a great spot right by the well-lit exit gate. This isn't the neighborhood I want to take my chances on when it comes to parking in a dark spot and scrambling for keyes late at night. You can go online and buy your parking spot on parkwhiz.com, gottapark.com or park-now.com, for $10. I was with my daughter, and felt better about just walking across the street. We ended up going to the food court at Westfield for dinner a long city block down Market Street – however, there are plenty of fun spots within walking distance if you are looking for a nicer dining experience.