The "Anything Goes" from eOne is GREAT! This is the 1954 episode of the Colgate Comedy Hour that featured a much-abridged version of Cole Porter's 1934 Broadway show (later made into a movie and with many revivals on, and off-, Broadway. This "hour long" show starred Ethel Merman and Frank Sinatra with Bert Lahr and Sheree North filling out the cast. It was "Produced" by Jule Styne.
The show was done live but kinescopes were made and were circulated among collectors in poor condition for many years. After Merman's death, a relative called theatre writer Stephen Cole and said she found Merman's original kinescope print. Its from this print that eOne - and the Archive of American Television produced this DVD. Its in pristine condition!
Like many versions of the musical, other Porter songs are inserted into this production. At least eight full-length versions of "I Get a Kick out of you", "You Do Something to me", "All Through the Night" and the wonderful "Blow Gabriel Blow" are here in addition to two versions of the title song. When Lahr was asked to join the cast, he insisted that he and Merman reprise their duet - "Friendship" from their run of DuBarry Was A Lady. It's wonderful! As you will hear in the "bonus interview" with the show's musical arranger - Buddy Bregman (who was Styne's nephew) - Lahr often flubbed his lines. Look out for when he refers to Merman's character as "Annie Oakley" (when her character is Miss Oakley.).
The show is presented here with the commercials deleted, so it only runs 47 minutes. When the show originally aired the director thought that it might run "over" so they cut one song. The cast found themselves with four minutes to fill at the end, so we get an impromptu encore!
The "bonus interview" I noted above is with Bregman and is not dated - but is apparently fairly recent. It lasts nearly 25 minutes and Bregman does nearly all the talking. He is certainly engaging and has great stories to tell, skipping ahead in school so that he was in college when he was 16 (and living at the Beverly Hills Hotel while attending school. He has some great stories about Judy Garland too! I won't spoil the fun. You need to hear these for yourself.
The set has a nice 20-page booklet with lots of history from Cole. If I had one small complaint it is that the show itself is presented with nine chapter stops but none are at the beginning of the 10 musical numbers. It wouldn't have taken much to index the DVD so that viewers could return to selected performances. But that's not enough to even drop my rating one notch.
This DVD belongs in EVERY American Musical Theatre collection!