Williamstown carries Porter

'Anything Goes' starts off legit fest

The 2006 Williamstown Theater Festival kicks off with “Anything Goes,” leading a season that includes the musical version of “The Opposite of Sex” and “A Nervous Smile,” a recent play by John Belluso, the playwright who died last month.

Gotham legiters keep a watchful eye on the lineup at the annual summer fest in Williamstown, Mass., which regularly draws New York talent.

According to a detailed announcement posted for Equity auditions, Roger Rees, in his second year as a.d. of the fest, will helm the Cole Porter tuner “Anything Goes,” which starts perfs July 5 on WTF’s mainstage.

Tennessee Williams’ “Sweet Bird of Youth,” directed by David Jones, follows “Anything Goes” into the venue. Season continues with a Will Frears-helmed “Romeo and Juliet” and “Double Double,” the much-produced two-thesp thriller written by Rees and Rick Elice (book writer of “Jersey Boys”).

Sked for the fest’s smaller stage begins with “Lucy and the Conquest,” written by Cusi Cram and helmed by Suzanne Agins, about a TV actress on a trip to Bolivia.

Next up is Belluso’s “Smile,” centering on the parents of a girl who has cerebral palsy. Maria Mileaf directs.

And the tuner adaptation of “The Opposite of Sex,” based on the 1998 pic, comes to Williamstown after a 2004 run in San Francisco. Douglas J. Cohen provides the music and lyrics, and Robert Jess Roth, currently steering “Lestat” through previews, wrote the book and will direct.

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