The national tour of Roundabout Theatre Company’s “Anything Goes”, the new Broadway revival of Cole Porter’s timeless classic musical theatre masterpiece, will make its Cleveland premiere October 2 – 14, 2012 at PlayhouseSquare as part of the KeyBank Broadway Series. The Cleveland stop will kick off the 25-city national tour.
Winner of the 2011 Tony Award® for Best Revival of a Musical, Roundabout Theatre Company’s “Anything Goes” sails direct from Broadway under the direction of Kathleen Marshall, who won the 2011 Tony Award® for Best Choreography.
Recently, principle cast member Erich Bergen talked via email with quadrust.com. Bergen plays Billy Crocker on the tour.
Kate Miller: How long have you been performing?
Erich Bergen: Too long. No! I kid, I kid. I’ve been performing since I was very little, about three years old. I was inspired at first by the MTV artists of the 80’s and started putting on “shows” in the apartment, most of them set to Michael Jackson’s “Bad” album. In my mind, there was a full lighting rig behind me… but it was just a couch. At ten years old I signed with a manager (still my manager to this day) and soon after, my professional career began.
KM: Do you come from an arts-based family?
EB: I do, my parents actually met in acting school. While neither one of them followed the path to become a professional actor, both are, to this day, very arts driven in their business and personal lives.
KM: You have a great resume of TV appearances, what’s been your favorite so far?
EB: I love working in television, and I’ve been thrilled to be a part of so many wonderful shows. I worked with Lady Gaga on “Gossip Girl”, and the brilliant Felicity Huffman on “Desperate Housewives”, but I think my favorite TV job so far was the pilot I shot for the CW Network this year called “Joey Dakota”. While it wasn’t picked up, the experience shooting it in Vancouver is something I’ll never forget and the lifelong friends I met… well, who could ask for anything more?
KM: Tell me about playing Billy Crocker in “Anything Goes” – how do you personally relate to the character? What aspects of Billy are different from you as Erich?
EB: Billy is a self-made man. This is a street kid, who very well could have gone down a dark path to make a quick buck, but instead, he made something of himself. By watching how the successful men of that era walked, dressed, and talked, he sorta faked his way to the top. It’s something that I relate to. As an actor, when you are called upon to do a job, you are often times convinced you can’t do it. You say to yourself “I don’t have the talent for this, they are going to figure out I’m a fraud.” And then you watch how the others do it, and fake your confidence. How am I different from Billy? Well, I’ve certainly never been as smooth with women as Billy is. Perhaps I’ll take some pointers.
KM: What’s your favorite song in the show?
EB: The title song, “Anything Goes”. It’s my favorite Cole Porter lyric of all time – so smart – and what Kathleen Marshall has done with it at the end of act 1 will blow you away. It’s eight minutes of utter joy every night.
KM: What’s the first thing you like to do when you step off the tour bus / plane and into a new city?
EB: Find the nearest Starbucks, CVS and food options.
KM: Have you been to Cleveland before?
EB: Yes many years ago, but I’ve been dying to come back for a long time. The people here are so kind, and I know they’ll love this show. I can’t wait to see their reaction!
“Anything Goes” is a 1934 musical comedy about the lovers, liars and clowns on a transatlantic cruise. When the S.S. American heads out to sea, etiquette and convention head out the portholes as two unlikely pairs set off on the course to true love… proving that sometimes destiny needs a little help from a crew of singing sailors, an exotic disguise and some good old-fashioned blackmail.
Cole Porter’s roundup of nostalgic hits in the production include “You’re the Top,” “Friendship,” “I Get a Kick Out of You,” “It’s De-Lovely,” “Blow, Gabriel, Blow” and, of course “Anything Goes.” The New Broadway Cast Recording of Roundabout Theatre Company’s “Anything Goes”, nominated for a 2011 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album, is available on Ghostlight Records.
The national touring cast includes Rachel York as Reno Sweeney and Fred Applegate as Moonface Martin. The principal cast also includes Erich Bergen as Billy Crocker, Jeff Brooks as Purser, Joyce Chittick as Erma, Alex Finke as Hope Harcourt, Dennis Kelly as Elisha Whitney, Vincent Rodriguez III as Luke, Marcus Shane as John, Sandra Shipley as Mrs. Evangeline Harcourt, Edward Staudenmayer as Sir Evelyn Oakleigh, and Chuck Wagner as Captain.
“Anything Goes” will play the Palace Theatre at PlayhouseSquare for 18 performances, October 2 – 14, 2012. Performances are Tuesday – Friday evenings at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 1:00 and 6:30 p.m. Tickets for all shows are currently on sale at the PlayhouseSquare Ticket Office (1519 Euclid Avenue in downtown Cleveland), online at playhousesquare.org or by calling 216-241-6000. Group orders of 15 or more may be placed by calling 216-664-6050.
For more information about the show, visit www.anythinggoesthemusical.com.
For more information on Roundabout Theatre Company, visit www.roundabouttheatre.org.
Do you have a Cleveland performing arts story? Contact KATE MILLER at KateMillerExaminer@yahoo.com. For consideration, please introduce yourself before launching your pitch or forwarding your release.