Bill English Is "Billy" in Broadway's Anything Goes in March; Colin Donnell Shooting Superhero Pilot
By Kenneth Jones
Bill English, the game actor who previously stepped into the dancing shoes of romantic lead Billy Crocker in Anything Goes, is back in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, now through April 1.
When Colin Donnell took a leave from the Cole Porter musical to star in the Encores! revival of Merrily We Roll Along earlier this winter, English — a North Carolina School of the Arts alumnus with regional credits and a stint in Roundabout Theatre Company's Twentieth Century — jumped in. Donnell is now filming a TV pilot and will return to Roundabout's Anything Goes at the Sondheim Theatre on April 3.
This is English's first extended principal turn in a Broadway show. He has appeared in The Full Monty (North Shore Music Theatre), The Shaggs (NYMF), Dracula (Triad Stage), The Times (Sonnet Rep) and The Man Who Came to Dinner (ACC). He was lead on the TV series "Cavemen."
Donnell's TV pilot is called "Arrow," for the CW, inspired by the Green Arrow DC comic book character (previously seen on TV's "Smallville"). Donnell plays the best friend of the bow-and-arrow-wielding superhero.
English's return to the show coincides with the exit of Sutton Foster, who won a Tony Award for playing Reno Sweeney, Billy's pal and confidante. Foster is off to shoot a new TV series, "Bunheads." Stephanie J. Block begins performances as Reno on March 15.
Anything Goes is directed and choreographed by 2011 Tony winner Kathleen Marshall (she won for her choreography, which includes an extended tap number to the title song).
Tony and Academy Award winner Joel Grey continues to play the role of Moonface Martin through April 29.
Tickets are on sale through Sunday, Sept. 9. A national tour launches this fall.
The Anything Goes cast currently features John McMartin as "Elisha Whitney," Julie Halston as "Evangeline Harcourt," Erin Mackey as "Hope Harcourt," Robert Petkoff as "Lord Evelyn Oakleigh," Jessica Stone as "Erma," Walter Charles as "Captain," Robert Creighton as "Purser," Andrew Cao as "Luke," and Raymond J. Lee as "John." Additional cast members include Lawrence Alexander, Leslie Becker, Brandon Bieber, Ward Billeisen, Daniel J. Edwards, Kearran Giovanni, Justin Greer, Derek Hanson, Tari Kelly, Michelle Loucadoux, Shina Ann Morris, Kevin Munhall, Mary Michael Patterson, Hayley Podschun, Brandon Rubendall, William Ryall, Jennifer Savelli, Vanessa Sonon.
Anything Goes, the musical comedy set aboard a transatlantic cruise ship, is a revision of the 1934 Broadway musical that had music & lyrics by Cole Porter and original book by P.G. Wodehouse & Guy Bolton and Howard Lindsay & Russel Crouse. The new book is by Timothy Crouse and John Weidman.
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