Broadway's Anything Goes Gets a New "Erma" Starting June 19
By Kenneth Jones
Joyce Chittick, the busy New York musical theatre actress who created the role of Virtue in Broadway's Anything Goes, steps into the role of Erma — who happens to get the show's 11-o'clock number, "Buddie Beware" — June 19-July 29.
Jessica Stone, who created the part in the Tony Award-winning revival, is taking a leave from the hit show to work at Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts. Stone returns July 31-Aug. 5, the final week of the Roundabout Theatre Company's run at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre.
Chittick's Broadway credits include Cats, The Who's Tommy, Big, Once Upon a Mattress, Cabaret, Seussical, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Wonderful Town, Sweet Charity, The Pajama Game and Grease.
Anything Goes won the 2011 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical.
As previously reported, a national tour of the Cole Porter show launches this fall in Cleveland and will play major markets including Los Angeles, Memphis, Pittsburgh, St. Paul, Dallas, Washington, DC, and beyond.
Kathleen Marshall won the Best Choreography Tony for her work on the musical comedy revival, which she also directed.
Stephanie J. Block and Joel Grey currently star in Anything Goes, first produced in 1934 and rejiggered in the 1980s by librettists John Weidman and Timothy Crouse. Set aboard a transatlantic ocean liner, the show features the American song classics "You're the Top," "Blow, Gabriel, Blow," "It's De-Lovely," "I Get A Kick Out of You" and "Anything Goes," among others.
The original limited engagement subscription run opened on April 7, 2011, and was scheduled to run for 19 weeks. It went on to be extended three times, now to Aug. 5.
Rachel York will star in the tour, which begins in Cleveland in October. Sutton Foster created the role of Reno Sweeney in 2011, taking home her second Best Actress Tony. She exited the show in March to film her new ABC Family TV series "Bunheads," now airing.
Block (9 to 5, The Pirate Queen) plays Reno now, opposite Tony and Academy Award winner Joel Grey as Moonface Martin.
The cast also features John McMartin as "Elisha Whitney", Julie Halston as "Evangeline Harcourt," Bill English as "Billy Crocker," Erin Mackey as "Hope Harcourt," Robert Petkoff as "Lord Evelyn Oakleigh," Ed Dixon 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 Billeison, Janine DiVita, Daniel J. Edwards, Justin Greer, Derek Hanson, Michelle Loucadoux, Brittany Marcin, Kaitlin Mesh, Shina Ann Morris, Kevin Munhall, Mary Michael Patterson, Brandon Rubendall, William Ryall, Jennifer Savelli, Kiira Schmidt, Vanessa Sonon.
The Grammy-nominated cast album is available now through Ghostlight Records.
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