Quick Chat with Dustin Lewis of Anything Goes


Photo courtesy of Dustin Lewis

An Atlanta Theater Fan Award Winner for his work in See What I Wanna See at Actor’s Express, Dustin Lewis has appeared on many of Atlanta’s stages. After directing Gypsy this past summer, Lewis returns to the stage this month in Cole Porter’s classic musical Anything Goes at Atlanta Lyric Theatre. Learn more about Anything Goes, his work in the upcoming production of Next to Normal, and more in our latest quick chat feature.

How would you describe Anything Goes?

The show is such a classic show that embraces everything there is to love about traditional musical theatre. Quick timing and jokes with amazing Cole Porter music and some of the best dance numbers you will see! I love the style of the show. It is such a quick paced musical ROMP! There is such a classic mix of characters that you fall in love with. Even the “bad guys” are good guys in this show!

Who do you play in the musical?

I play Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. He is an outrageous, lovable buffoon who is just himself 100%.

What is your favorite design element of this production of Anything Goes?

The set for the this show is really great along with the light design. There is just one huge three level set that look like the deck of a ship and the design incorporates our amazing orchestra on the top-level. I love being able to have the orchestra on stage with us! Really great for the audience get to see these amazing musicians.

What do enjoy most about working with your castmates?

What don’t I enjoy?? That is a better question. We just all really have a blast. I love them all. This has been one of the best casts I have worked with. WE all just laugh a lot and really enjoy being around each other.

Any funny backstage or rehearsal moments at Anything Goes you’d like to share?

Like I said before…there is funny stuff happening all the time. There were times throughout the rehearsal process that we could just not keep it together because everyone has a moment or two that makes it hard to contain yourself.

Dustin Lewis with Lisa Manuli, who plays Reno Sweeney, in Anything Goes. Photo courtesy of Atlanta Lyric Theatre

Do you enjoy classic musicals like this more than recent ones?

I really love any era of musicals. They both have their place and huge important in our world. It is kind of crazy because I have been working on Next to Normal at the Alliance during the day and then coming and doing Anything Goes in the evening. So, you cannot get any different than these two shows and styles of shows!

Any other projects on the horizon for you?

I am understudying the Doctors in Next to Normal. After that I will be playing Bob Wallace in White Christmas at the Lyric. Next to Normal has already been such a great experience. I cannot wait to get started on White Christmas especially because I get to play opposite my “bestie” Mary Nye Bennett!

Congratulations on your Suzi Bass Award nomination for directing Gypsy! If you could wrap that experience up in one sentence, how would you describe it?

I could not be more proud of everything about Gypsy!

Do you find directing or acting more challenging?

Boy…they both have their challenges but I would say directing would be more challenging through the rehearsal and pre-production process because you are making decisions every moment of the day. Everyone is counting on you to be the driving force to bring all the elements together. Of course after the show opening, the director tends to leave the process so that is when it sometimes becomes harder as an actor. They both provide amazing challenges that I welcome ever time I take on a project.

Lastly, what’s your best sales pitch for Anything Goes?

People should come to see Anything Goes because it is just plain good! It is such a talented cast and crew! You will not see better choreography than Karen Hebert’s. It truly is a classic musical comedy that will make you “guffaw” until your stomach hurts!


Atlanta Lyric Theatre’s production of Anything Goes plays at the Earl Smith Stand Theatre in Marietta through October 7, 2012. For tickets and more information, please visit the theater’s website.


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