Even though creative musical genius Cole Porter hailed from Peru, Ind., there aren't any Hoosier city stops on the new national Broadway tour of his revived hit "Anything Goes."
It's just one of the reasons actor Josh Franklin is so happy the touring company he's performing with for this production is, at least, hitting Chicago for a two-week run that opens today and continues through May 5.
"We'll be very close to Indiana, which is still great, considering it's even been a long time since I've been to Chicago," said Franklin, talking by telephone last week while the show played in Pittsburgh.
Franklin, who is originally from Colorado Springs, plays Billy Crocker for this first national tour produced by New York City's Roundabout Theatre Company. He also starred on Broadway for the revival launched in New York in 2011 headlining Sutton Foster and Joel Grey and directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall, who received the 2011 Tony for her work.
"I'd worked with Kathleen before, since I'd starred as Danny when she did the 'Grease' revival," Franklin said.
Porter's "Anything Goes," playing the Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 West Randolph, in Chicago is the 1934 musical comedy originally starring Ethel Merman, about the lovers, liars and clowns on a transatlantic cruise. With all of Porter's classic overtones, when the S.S. American heads out to sea, etiquette and convention head out the portholes as two unlikely pairs set off on the course to true love, proving sometimes destiny needs a little help from a crew of singing sailors, an exotic disguise, and some good old-fashioned blackmail.
This tour premiered in Cleveland in October and stars actress Rachel York as Reno Sweeney, the role played by Foster on Broadway and Fred Applegate starring as Moonface Martin, played by Grey.
"Sutton was fantastic on Broadway and Rachel York brings her own wonderful touches to the same role," said Franklin, who graduated from Webster University in St. Louis.
"I love performing the song 'You're the Top' with Rachel. And it's also been interesting to take this musical on the road and see how audiences in different cities will respond to funny lines and moments in a completely different way."
Porter's roundup of nostalgic hits in the production include "Friendship," "I Get a Kick Out of You," "It's De-Lovely," "Blow, Gabriel, Blow" and the title song "Anything Goes."
"My friends were a little surprised when I originally joined this cast, since I hadn't been associated with such classic early Broadway tunes," said Franklin, who is also a songwriter who released his debut album "Flyin' Higher" in 2013 of 11 all-original tunes which can be purchased on iTunes or at his website.
"It's been fun every step of the way."
"Anything Goes" plays at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays, and 2 and 7:30 p.m Wednesdays, 7:30 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sundays,, with no matinee on April 24 and no evening performance on May 5. Tickets are $27-$95 at (800) 775-2000 or visit BroadwayInChicago.com or for details, visit anythinggoesthemusical.com or joshfranklin.net.