BOOKS and CDs
LETTERS TO EDITOR
A new revue of unknown/unpublished Cole Porter songs
by Carolyn Balducci
Porter's other hits were Anything Goes, Gay Divorcee and Can-Can. His urbane lyrics combined with memorable melodies transformed the American musical theater. Kiss Me, Kate (1948), his masterpiece, included songs like "Another Op'nin', Another Show", "Wunderbar"," So in Love" and "Too Darn Hot." Other like "You're the Top", "Night and Day" and "Begin the Beguine" have became timeless standards, performed by artists as disparate as Ella Fitzgerald, Michael Feinstein and Iggy Pop.
Porterphiles, now playing at the York Theater, captures 30 of Porter's previously unproduced songs in a revue threaded together around the ups and downs of friendship and love among a threesome who are splendidly interpreted by Ricky Russell, Stephen Zinatto and Lynne Halliday.
A fourth presence on stage is the vivacious Judy Brown plugging merrily away at the piano. It was Brown who harvested this revue from a crop of over 400 unproduced songs. Several had been cut from productions, while others were part of shows which never saw the light of the Great White Way.
Many of these songs deserve to go into the classic Porter repertoire. The exquisite "At Last in Your Arms, "Kathleen" and "We Shall Never be Younger" rank melodically and emotionally with "Begin the Beguine". Others, such as "The Extra Man", "That's Why I Love You","t; I Wrote a Play", "Tequila" and "Coffee" would contend with "You're the Top" in tempo, zest and humor.
The performers mesh perfectly in duets and trios, and know how to deliver their solos. Lynne Halliday exudes a playful sensuality, especially in her slithery Tallulah Bankhead-like rendition of Pets. Ricky Russell makes a very personal connection with the audience when singing "I'm Yours. " Stephen Zinnato almost stole the show with "I Wrote a Play." The combined force of singing, dancing and acting talent makes this wonderfully entertaining Holiday fare. Don't miss it!
Books Make Great Gifts
At This Theater
Ridiculous!The Theatrical Life & Times of Charles Ludlam
The New York Times Book of Broadway: On the Aisle for the Unforgettable Plays of the Last Century
6, 500 Comparative Phrases including 800 Shakespearean Metaphors by CurtainUp's editor.
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