By Kenneth Jones
23 Apr 2011
|Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN|
Adam Godley, the lanky British actor last seen on Broadway as Victor in the 2002 Tony Award-winning Best Revival of Private Lives, didn't get the leading lady in that acclaimed production. But in Anything Goes, the champagne-kissed revival of the Cole Porter musical now at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, he (spoiler alert!) finally snags the girl.
The three-time Olivier Award nominee's Playbill bio is as fresh as his portrayal of Lord Evelyn Oakleigh in Anything Goes: "ADAM GODLEY The National Theatre, London: a dog, a comedian, a Jewish neighbor, a Catholic saint, an eldest son, a youngest son, an only son. Donmar Warehouse: a writer, a reporter. The Royal Court Theatre: doctor, architect. West End: prince, autistic savant, lyricist, suitor, another suitor. Royal Shakespeare Company: cuckold, soldier, another soldier. Broadway: newlywed. Adam has been nominated for three Olivier Awards (doctor, comedian, autistic savant), losing out to a servant, a barman and a clown."
We met Godley in between Anything Goes rehearsals (the Roundabout Theatre Company staging was rehearsed at Roundabout's Studio 54) prior to its Broadway launch. The musical went on to win enthusiastic reviews.
|photo by Joan Marcus|
I loved your work as the rival husband in Private Lives. That was your Broadway debut?
Adam Godley: Yeah, it was, but [this is] definitely my musical debut, and I'm very excited about it.
There's a flavor connection between Cole Porter and Noel Coward — both wrote light, delicious, sweet. Can you talk a little about it?
AG: Absolutely. Partly what attracted me to this is just the wit — the sparkling wit. [Director] Kathleen [Marshall] referred to the thing being like a glass of champagne, and I like champagne, but it's gotta be good champagne, and this is really good champagne. That sparkling wit — it's just dazzling, and it's a real challenge to get to the point where you are believably a person who speaks those lines, and that's what we've all been working on like crazy.
Tell me a bit about your character.
AG: Well, he's called [Lord] Evelyn Oakleigh, and he's a British aristocrat who is obsessed with all things American and is traveling on this boat and is going to get married to someone that he maybe is not wholly in love with. Echoes of Charles and Diana, maybe. I don't know, but it all comes good in the end. He meets someone and falls in love and is able to reveal his true inner self, and that is something else. I'm always really attracted by characters who appear to be one thing and turn around and they're quite something else, and this part absolutely allows me to indulge all of that.
Have you done musical theatre before?
AG: The last time I sang on a stage was in Sam Mendes' production of Cabaret in London, where I played Cliff. A production that came to this very theatre where we're rehearsing — Studio 54. And that's the last time I sang on stage, which was a while back.