Anything Goes is one of America’s most popular musicals. It has frequently been re-written, although the current licensed version reflects the changes made in the 1987 Broadway revival. The show features music and lyrics by Cole Porter, and book by Guy Bolton, P.G Wodehouse, Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. The show is set in the American Jazz age aboard a cruise liner from New York to London. The musical features a famous score of songs including ‘Anything Goes’, ‘I Get A Kick Out of You’ and ‘You’re the Top’ which have since become show standards.

Anything Goes

Cole Porter

Cole Porter

Timothy Crouse & John Weidman

Lincoln Center Theatre, Gregory Mosher, Bernard Gersten

Jerry Zaks

Michael Smuin

Anything Goes Original Broadway

Original Broadway Production

Alvin Theatre - Opened 21 Nov 1934, closed 1 Jan 1970, 420 performances

Cast: Ethel Merman (Reno Sweeney), William Gaxton (Billy Crocker) , Victor Moore (Moonface Martin).

Anything Goes Broadway Revival

First Broadway Revival

Lincoln Center Theatre - Opened 19 Oct 1987, closed 1 Jan 1970, 784 performances

Cast: Patti LuPone (Reno Sweeney), Howard McGillin (Billy), Bill McCutcheon (Moonface), Anthony Heald (Lord Evelyn).

Anything Goes London Revival

Original London Production

Prince Edward Theatre - Opened 1 Jul 1989, closed 1 Jan 1970

Anything Goes National Theatre

London Revival

National Theatre and Theatre Royal Drury Lane - Opened 18 Dec 2002, closed 28 Aug 2004

Cast: Sally Ann Triplett (Reno Sweeney), John Barrowman (Billy Crocker)

Anything Goes 2nd Broadway Revival

Broadway Revival

Stephen Sondheim Theatre - Opened 7 Apr 2011, closed 8 Jul 2012, 521 performances

Cast: Sutton Foster (Reno Sweeney), Laura Osnes (Hope), Joel Grey (Moonface)

What was your favourite production? Add your thoughts in the comments box


Passengers begin to board the Ocean Greyhound America, an ocean liner bound for London from New York. All hope celebrities will be on board, and are pleased at the arrival of Reno Sweeney, a former Evangelist who became a nightclub singer. Billy, a dashing Wall Street executive arrives to bring his boss Elisha Whitney his passport and is pleased to bump into his old friend Reno. 

Just as Billy is about to disembark the ship, he runs into Hope Harcourt, a beautiful girl he met one evening in Central Park and has been pining for ever since. Hope is equally besotted, but is on the ship with her fiancé Sir Evelyn Oakleigh, a befuddled wealthy Englishman her overbearing mother wants her to marry. Billy decides to stay on board to rekindle his romance with Hope, despite not having a ticket.

Unbeknownst to the rest of the ship, Moonface Martin, a gambling gangster, is on board. He is currently number 13 on the nation’s most wanted list and hopes to move up to the number one slot. Billy inadvertently identifies an innocent Bishop as Moonface to the FBI, and Moonface is in his debt. He gives Billy the passport and ticket of his accomplice, Snake Eyes, who was supposed to be on board but was warned against sailing.

Sir Evelyn is seasick, leaving Billy and Hope alone for the evening. When Billy returns to his cabin, he discovers that his boss, Mr. Whitney is in the next room. Moonface, now posing as a clergyman, steals Whitney’s glasses so he does not have a chance to recognize Billy. The FBI begins searching the ship for Billy, who they believe is the real Snake Eyes, so he disguises himself as a sailor. Reno sees through the disguise, but upon hearing the situation agrees to help Billy by distracting Sir Evelyn, who she finds charming. The authorities finally capture Billy, but the passengers are thrilled to have another celebrity on board, even though he is supposedly public enemy number one, and want him to remain amongst them.

While Reno and Sir Evelyn begin to fall in love, Hope is dismayed at Billy’s continued lie. The ship’s Captain asks Moonface, who he believes to be a minister, to perform a service to cleanse “Snake Eyes” of his sins. At the service, Billy finally confesses he is not Snake Eyes, Moonface reveals he is not a minister, and they are both locked in the ship’s brig. Billy is heartbroken not to be with Hope, and the situation is worsened when Hope arrives to tell Billy she is to be married to Sir Evelyn within the hour at her mother’s insistence.

Moonface and Billy manage to exchange clothes with two fellow inmates and escape just in time to stop the wedding. In the end, Hope and Billy, Reno and Sir Evelyn, and Mr. Whitney and Mrs. Harcourt all end up together while Moonface Martin is devastated to be removed from the FBI’s most wanted list.


Original Song List

  • I Get a Kick Out of You
  • Bon Voyage
  • All Through the Night
  • There’ll Always Be a Lady Fair
  • Where are the Men?
  • You’re the Top
  • Anything Goes
  • Public Enemy Number One
  • Blow, Gabriel, Blow
  • Be Like the Bluebird
  • Buddie Beware
  • The Gypsy in Me
  • Waltz Down the Aisle
  • What a Joy to be Young
  • Kate the Great
  • Heaven Hop
  • Let’s Step Out
  • Let’s Misbehave
  • Take Me Back to Manhattan
  • Let’s Do It
  • Ya Gotta Give the People Hoke
  • A Second Hand Turban and a Crystal Ball
  • You Can Bounce Right Back
  • You Do Something to Me
  • Just One of Those Things

1987 Revival Song List


  • Overture
  • Buddie Beware (Underscore)
  • I Get A Kick Out Of You
  • There’s No Cure Like Travel
  • Bon Voyage
  • Bon Voyage (Playoff)
  • You’re The Top
  • You’re The Top (Playoff)
  • Easy To Love
  • Easy To Love (Reprise)
  • The Crew Song
  • Crew Move #1
  • Crew Move #2
  • There’ll Always Be A Lady Fair
  • Friendship
  • Friendship (Playoff & Chaser)
  • It’s De-lovely
  • Anything Goes


  • Entr’acte
  • Public Enemy Number One
  • Gabriel Entrance
  • Blow, Gabriel, Blow
  • Blow, Gabriel, Blow (Playoff)
  • Goodbye, Little Dream, Goodbye
  • Goodbye (Scene Change)
  • Be Like The Blue Bird
  • All Through The Night
  • All Through The Night (Scene Change)
  • Gypsy In Me
  • Gypsy In Me (Playoff)
  • Bon Voyage (Scene Change)
  • Buddie, Beware
  • Wedding March
  • Little Plum Blossom
  • Finale
  • Bows
  • Exit Music

1987 Tony Awards: Best Revival of a Musical, Best Performance of a Featured Actor, Best Choreography.

2002 Olivier Award: Best Musical Production

2011 Olivier Award: Best Revival of a Musical, Best Performance by a Leading Actress, Best Choreography.


UK: Music Scope UK

USA: Tams-Witmark