The action takes place aboard the S.S. American, sailing from New York to England. On board are the beautiful American heiress Hope Harcourt, her fiance Sir Evelyn Oakleigh and Hope’s mother Evangeline. Also on board is Billy Crocker making sure that his boss Mr. Elisha Whitney (who happens to be very fond of the occasional tipple) has everything he needs for the trip.
Billy intends to disembark before the ship sails but when he finds out that Hope (whom he has dated and is in love with) is sailing to be married, he decides to stay aboard even though he has no ticket, passport or money!
Moonface Martin (Public Enemy Number Thirteen) and the moll of his associate Public Enemy Number One – Erma – are also aboard. They are trying to escape from the FBI. Billy and Moonface team up using all sorts of disguises to avoid various people on board ship. To add to the confusion, Reno Sweeney, the former evangelist turned nightclub singer (and another of Billy’s aquaintances) is also on board with her troup of dancers cum backup singers the “Angels”. She tries to help Billy in his attempts to win over Hope and at the same time falls for the charms of Sir Evelyn. What ensues is something between a Marx Brothers movie and a Brian Rix farce with hilarious results!
The score incorporates some of Cole Porter’s best known and comical work including “I Get A Kick Out Of You”, “You’re The Top”, “Easy To Love”, “Friendship”, “Deloveley”, “Blow, Gabriel Blow” and “Anything Goes”.