Anything Goes, But Choreography Stays for Broadway's New Reno Sweeney, Stephanie J. Block

News   Anything Goes, But Choreography Stays for Broadway's New Reno Sweeney, Stephanie J. Block
 
Yes, Stephanie J. Block will be dancing all of Kathleen Marshall's Tony-winning choreography when she temporarily steps into the role of nightclub singer Reno Sweeney in the Tony Award-winning revival of Cole Porter's Anything Goes Nov. 4 at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre.

Stephanie J. Block
Stephanie J. Block Photo by Bill Westmoreland

Block, who earned a Drama Desk nomination for Best Actress in a Musical for her most recent Broadway outing in 9 to 5: The Musical, is filling in for Sutton Foster while the two-time Tony winner films a TV pilot. The singing actress recently told Playbill.com that she will be performing the same vocal and dance arrangements as Foster. "The only thing that we've adjusted is that I do not do the splits in 'The Gypsy in Me,'" Block said. "Other than that, nothing's been modified."

Block, who will play Reno opposite the Moonface Martin of Joel Grey through Nov. 22, added that she had "seen the production months ago and was in awe of the entire magnitude and how quickly paced and how clean and brisk and beautiful the whole production is. And then, of course, seeing the Anything Goes eight-minute tap number on the Tonys, your jaw drops and you go, 'Wow! That's amazing.' And, Sutton does have this remarkable talent of making kind of a mammoth role look surprisingly easy, and it's big. I'm going to use that word again — it's a mammoth role — especially with these beautiful dance numbers that Kathleen has put together."

Marshall also directed the production, which won three 2011 Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical.

Block, who made her Broadway debut as Liza Minnelli opposite the Peter Allen of Hugh Jackman, also portrayed Elphaba in the Broadway company of Wicked and Grace O'Malley in The Pirate Queen. She was also seen Off-Broadway in Meet Vera Stark, and her regional credits include Funny Girl, Crazy for You (L.A. Ovation Award nomination), Oliver (Critics Award, Best Actress) and James Joyce's The Dead.

Anything Goes plays the Stephen Sondheim Theatre (124 West 43rd Street). A new block of tickets recently went on sale through April 29, 2012. Watch for a full interview with actress Stephanie J. Block in an upcoming "Diva Talk."

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