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Heaven Knows, Anything Goes
August 11, 2012 6:21 PM   Subscribe

The world has gone mad today 1 And good's bad today 2 And black's white today 3 And day's night today 4 When most guys today 5 That women prize today 6 Are just silly gigolos 7

And though I'm not a great romancer, I know that I'm bound to answer when you propose, Anything Goes 8

1. Kate Capshaw, INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM (1984)
2. Lindsay Pearce, GLEE (2011)
3. Harpers Bizarre, THE BOYS IN THE BAND (1970)
4. Mitzi Gaynor, ANYTHING GOES (1956)
5. Stan Getz & Gerry Mulligan (1957)
6. Sutton Foster in rehearsal (2011)
7. Cole Porter (1934)
8. Wikipedia article
posted by roger ackroyd (39 comments total) 58 users marked this as a favorite

 
Extra credit reading: John Lahr on Cole Porter in The New Yorker
posted by roger ackroyd at 6:23 PM on August 11, 2012


You're the top!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:28 PM on August 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


I've always really loved this song. Thanks.
posted by OmieWise at 6:58 PM on August 11, 2012


Did I miss it, or did you forget Ms. LuPone?
posted by gminks at 7:23 PM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


The staging of this song in the 2011 revival was one of the most over-the-top act one curtains I've ever seen. The rehearsal version shown here is even better because you can see what a good time the cast is having (while practically killing themselves dancing, of course). And Sutton Foster is superhuman.
posted by How the runs scored at 7:24 PM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


From the set of Torchwood - John Barrowman gives us his version.
posted by redheadedstepchild at 7:24 PM on August 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


Man, Lucas used to make good movies.
Is it just me or is that Shanghai nightclub/showgirl stage imbued with TARDISish qualities?

Thanks for the awesome post
posted by Bwithh at 7:29 PM on August 11, 2012


The opening 11 mins of Temple Of Doom is one of the best distillation if the whole adventure genre.

The rest can't compare.

Although thanks to my filthy habits, this song instantly makes me check for raiders.
posted by The Whelk at 7:30 PM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Although as a kid I didn't have the movie background knowledge to understand why she went into like a pocket chorus line universe in the middle of the song, like how can the people see her inside the dragon?
posted by The Whelk at 7:36 PM on August 11, 2012


I really wish, when faced with the option by this post, I'd kept watching Temple of Doom instead of The Boys in the Band because now I really feel like I need to have a drink or eight.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:59 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love, love, love Cole Porter. But why does Mitzi Gaynor say that authors now only know three letter words? Was the implication of cursing really that risque in 1957--or were writers of that era just really dum?
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:08 PM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


CLUB OBI WAN
posted by Artw at 8:22 PM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


So what's the movie background explanation?
posted by Bwithh at 8:23 PM on August 11, 2012


See, I grew up singing songs from Anything Went, which my mother found hilarious for reasons I didn't quite understand until years later.
posted by koeselitz at 8:48 PM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've been out of the theater for so long that I had no idea who Sutton Foster was. However, when I got to that rehearsal link I watched though the whole thing practically open-mouthed, and spent another 30 minutes reading all about her and watched her answer questions from fans on broadway.com. I um...may be in love.

Thanks so much for these links!
posted by blurker at 9:08 PM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


I like the format of this post!
posted by not_on_display at 9:10 PM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Can't find it anywhere on the tubes, but when I was a kid I was exposed to repeated airings of a Canadian commercial for Minute Rice featuring The Brady Bunch's Ann B. Davis singing a jingle to the tune of this song. I didn't know it was a real song until I saw Temple of Doom.
posted by evilcolonel at 9:12 PM on August 11, 2012


The opening 11 mins of Temple Of Doom is one of the best distillation if the whole adventure genre.

The rest can't compare.


I read some time ago that the opening sequence was written for Raiders but got cut, and just got glued to the front of the script for Temple because it was too good to let go.

It's possible I said 'Better luck next time, Lao-Che,' to the ticket attendant as I got on a 777 at Shanghai-Pudong International this winter.
posted by samofidelis at 9:15 PM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Mustn't forget Terry Jones (1974), either.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:52 PM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


There's a joke you almost certainly know already, though if you don't, here it is for you to entertain your nieces, nephews and children:

KNOCK KNOCK!

WHO'S THERE?

INTERRUPTING COW!

INTERRUPT-

MOOOOOOOOOO!

But there's another variation on this joke, lesser known. Allow me to (hopefully) describe it:

KNOCK KNOCK!

WHO'S THERE?

INTERRUPTING STARFISH!

INTERR-

[throw out your arms and legs into a jumping jack formation while remaining completely silent but flashing the biggest, goofiest grin you can manage]

My friend Crissi, who taught me that joke, has the biggest, goofiest, warmest, most endearing smile known to mankind. There's an amazing photo of her with her old Aor Force squadron where she's giving that smile while everyone else of frowning, as they were ordered to do. She apparently got in trouble for smiling in that photo, but it's amazing.

Crissi was also my stage manager when I did Anything Goes.

And in the title number, most of us were assigned to be frozen in party positions while Reno Sweeney did her thing, and my position had me looking directly at the wing-doors where the stage-manager's desk sat.

Every performance, Crissi would stand just out of sight of any audience members, while I had to stand there frozen, and do the interrupting starfish the way shakespeare was meant to be played, just to try to break me on stage.

That's what I think of with this song.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:58 PM on August 11, 2012 [21 favorites]


Love Love Love this post. My mother used to teach me tap while singing this. And this has just reminded me to watch The Boys in the Band again. It shook my world when I was 15...
posted by Isadorady at 10:03 PM on August 11, 2012


I'm not one of those, "They don't make songs like they used to" people mainly because I think on balance the stuff today or a generation ago is just as good as the stuff from my grandparents' and their parents' generations, but this song certainly has stood the test of time.

This post is a testament to how well it plays through time.
posted by EJXD2 at 10:10 PM on August 11, 2012


Oh Blurker, do you not know the wondrous Drowsy Chaperone (which SF zgarred in on Bway)? Check out any commty. theatre production. It's the kind of show that travels well.
posted by NorthernLite at 10:24 PM on August 11, 2012


Oh and here's Roddy McDowall and Carol Burnett.
posted by roger ackroyd at 11:58 PM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


It looks like this version, from the 1972 film Sleuth, is uncredited. (Starts at 3:04)
posted by Room 641-A at 5:17 AM on August 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Let's make Cole Porter's birthday a national holiday. George Gershwin's too.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 6:00 AM on August 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


Pity, no live footage of Ella Fitzgerald doing this song. How about live fromBerlin? Though I personally prefer her slower paced version in the American Songbook.
posted by jadepearl at 7:31 AM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


And Sutton Foster is superhuman.

And yet, of all the different versions, that's the one I liked least. It's supposed to be a playful song, and she sings it almost like an aria.

Of course, abso-fucking-litely nobody can sing it like Ms. Fitzgerald...

The opening 11 mins of Temple Of Doom is one of the best distillation if the whole adventure genre.

The rest can't compare.


I read some time ago that the opening sequence was written for Raiders but got cut, and just got glued to the front of the script for Temple because it was too good to let go.


That...makes a lot of sense. I remember being entranced by that opening sequence, and expecting the rest of the movie to be even better than Raiders then slowly realising that it wasn't going to happen.

Watch the Temple of Doom without that opening sequence, and understand that Spielberg had nuked the fridge long before the Crystal Skull.
posted by Skeptic at 10:08 AM on August 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


When I was in high school I played in the pit orchestra for both my HS drama club's production of Anything Goes and one with a local community theatre. Of course, the drama club was using the 1987 book and the community theatre was using the 1962 book, so I had to learn the entire thing twice. My ideal version of the show in my memory is a hodgepodge — the 1987 version of the title number but the 1962 "Blow, Gabriel, Blow" and "It's De-Lovely", etc.

This brought back so many good memories. Thanks for the post!

(And that eight-minute version with Ms. Foster is positively ridiculous. That's some serious dancing.)
posted by spitefulcrow at 10:42 AM on August 12, 2012


Book for the stage show was by Guy Bolton and P.G.Wodehouse. Wodehouse (presumably between novels and shortstories) tossed off a verse just for fun:

“When courts decide as they did latterly
We can read Lady Chatterley..."
posted by BWA at 10:49 AM on August 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


I love this song. I need to learn it. Along with Ian Dury's What a Waste.
posted by maiamaia at 12:05 PM on August 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wow, that Ella Fitzgerald version was amazing. Every verse differently jazzified by rhythm and/or harmony. I love Cole Porter, but musical theatre performances tend to be so pedestrian compared to jazz, and this one really shows that.
posted by Listener at 12:38 PM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Splendid. Entirely splendid.
posted by lapsangsouchong at 2:16 PM on August 12, 2012


Tried to watch the Olympic closing ceremonies and, with two or three exceptions, muted it to watch these instead. Thanks for salvaging the ceremonies, but curse you for the earworm.
posted by Lieber Frau at 9:16 PM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ethel Merman, who introduced the song in 1934, reprises her performance 20 and 45 (!) years later.
posted by La Cieca at 11:34 AM on August 13, 2012


Cue Les Barker.
posted by lagavulin at 12:35 PM on August 13, 2012


I am going to throw in Malcolm X's reference to one of the lyrics in the song.
posted by jadepearl at 12:43 PM on August 13, 2012


The 2004 film starring Kevin Kline, De-Lovely, didn't get much love from some critics, but I thought it was swell. If you are curious about seeing a compact introduction to Cole Porter's life and work, then I would highly recommend it. (Maybe I'll try to watch it again soon).

In this movie, the song Anything Goes gets a brassy Ethyl Merman interpretation by Caroline O'Connor, which is suitably corny but also almost desperate sounding. This also made me realize that Cole Porter wasn't just witty, but also subversive.
posted by ovvl at 4:44 PM on August 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Someone sent me this song - sung by Ella Fitzgerald, the definitive version to me - in a MeFi music swap years ago. It's been a favourite ever since. I don't remember who, but if you recognize yourself - thanks a lot!
posted by Termite at 1:50 PM on August 14, 2012


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