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Book Review: Anything Goes Songbook by Cole Porter

Alfred Music publishes the officially licensed piano/vocal selections for Anything Goes to coincide with the Spring 2011 revival of the beloved Cole Porter musical.

Thirteen songs in all are compiled in this snazzy new book of vocal selections including show favorites “I Get a Kick Out of You,” “You’re the Top,” “It’s De-Lovely,” and of course, “Anything Goes.” All your favorite titles are included:

• You’re the Top
• Easy to Love
• Friendship
• It’s De-Lovely
• Anything Goes
• Public Enemy Number One
• Blow, Gabriel, Blow
• Goodbye, Little Dream, Goodbye
• Be Like the Bluebird
• All Through the Night
• The Gypsy in Me
• Buddie, Beware

One of the few Tin Pan Alley composers to write both lyrics and music, Tony Award winner Cole Porter, engages us with a comic cast of characters aboard ship on a saucy sail on an ocean liner. Can our characters steer themselves through their madcap antics to true love? Join their hilariously bumpy ride across the Atlantic at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre. Anything Goes debuted as a contemporary show in the 1930s and enjoyed successful revivals in the 1960s and 1980s.

Now, the Stephen Sondheim Theatre hosts this dazzling new, all-star revival, twenty-three years after the last production of this Broadway staple. Sutton Foster stars as nightclub singer, Reno Sweeney (originally played by Ethel Merman). Foster returns to the stage after touring the country with her hit solo concert featuring various Broadway favorites. Not a scaled-down, budget conscious production, the revival is a big ensemble piece, directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall.

The songbook’s cover reflects the whimsical nature of the show. Songs have been transposed into keys friendly to the medium range voice. Each character’s name is displayed at the beginning of the song for the novice who may need to know for whom the song is appropriate. In numbers where the chorus joins a soloist, choral parts are clearly written out.

Alfred has facilitated matters for the often neglected accompanist. The songbook stays open on piano stand (quite unusual for a songbook of musical selections). The size of the notes has been slightly reduced from the original, eliminating extra pesky page turns for the pianist.

Extend kudos to Alfred Publishing for their commitment to our environment. In celebration of Earth Day on April 22nd, the company has established “Alfred Cares,” an ever-expanding initiative to promote environmental conservation. The company is dedicated to saving electricity, water, and trees. For printed music, that translates into 95 % of their books being printed on recycled paper, including the Anything Goes songbook.

If you’ve made the trek to Broadway to see the show, pick up Alfred’s 2011 piano/vocal songbook to extend your memories of this snazzy production. Can’t make a trip to New York City? Enjoy the new $16.99 piano/vocal songbook by ordering from your local retail music store or directly from Alfred Music Publishing.

About Holly Weiss