‘Anything Goes’ star loves show’s style

Rachel York’s life busy on and off stage
Mar. 15, 2013 @ 02:47 PM

The current revival of “Anything Goes,” the 1930s-set ship comedic musical featuring Cole Porter music is a big, bold Broadway production, said its star, Rachel York, who portrays Reno Sweeney. “Anything Goes” comes to the Durham Performing Arts Center on Tuesday for a six-day run.

York spoke with The Herald-Sun by phone last week from the tour stop in Tampa, Fla.

The original play, written during the Great Depression, gave people what they craved then, York said. “Romance, comedy, to be taken away from life,” she said. “This show – you go on a cruise for two hours,” York said. There are singing sailors, disguises, blackmail and romance. Even though the book has been rewritten, a lot of the jokes still work, she said. York also loves the costumes and said it was such a debonair period, with style.

York’s character, Reno, is from the wrong side of the tracks and is trying to make a name for herself. “She’s not upper crust, but she’s got style. She’s got sass,” she said.

York does all her work in rehearsal, so by the time she’s on stage, it’s just natural to be the persona they’ve created.

“I’m Reno on stage. For the bows, I’m part Reno, part actress Rachel York. After I get out of my makeup, I’m just Olivia’s mom,” she said. “After I do my job, I go home like everyone else after work.”

York’s down time on tour is just as busy as her role on stage.

“Every person in the cast has their own agenda. I have a 2-year-old, so I seek out children’s museums and playgrounds,” York said. Her daughter is getting her own national tour along with “Anything Goes.” Some cities are better than others for having kid activities nearby, and she’ll drive further out to find places Olivia will enjoy. York also travels with a nanny, so it’s easier when the company rents apartments or houses during the tour stops. York is based in New York City, and moved into a new place just before this tour started last fall. Most of her belongings are in storage or suitcases.

York previously did two short production runs of “Anything Goes” in Los Angeles and Kansas City, Mo.

“I love the show, love the role of Reno,” York said. “I’ve always been a huge fan of old films of the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s. [Director and choreographer] Kathleen Marshall, like me, really gets that era. She’s really captured the period,” she said.

The music of Cole Porter is amazing, York said. “His music holds up. It’s timeless,” she said. Songs in the production include “Anything Goes,” “I Get a Kick Out of You” and “It’s De-lovely.”

“This show is uplifting. It carries you away, makes you forget day to day problems,” York said. “High schools, colleges, regional theaters all want to do this show, too, because it’s an audience pleaser.”