Musical theater performance depicting the composer’s songs and life

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Musical theater performance depicting the composer’s songs and life

Theater

An original screenplay, Too Darn Hot! combines the personal life of Cole Porter with his famous songs, in the latest show from Pirate Productions

An original screenplay, Too Darn Hot! combines the personal life of Cole Porter with his famous songs, in the latest show from Pirate Productions

Rehearsals for Too Darn Hot! a piece on Cole Porter with 20 of his songs

Photo credit: Pirate Productions

You may not have heard of Cole Porter, but you’ll recognize his songs, many of which became famous on Broadway in the 1930s, and were later produced in classic films.

Both Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra sang renditions of Porter’s song, you kick meand her songs have been covered by the Buena Vista Social Club, Sinead O’Connor and Kirsty MacColl.

Even if you recognize the songs, you might not know much about Porter’s colorful private life. The bisexual son of a wealthy American family, he made Paris his home for many years and traveled extensively across Europe.

Catchy or catchy songs and ballads

Musical and theatrical production Far too hot! depicts the life and music of Cole Porter and will come to Luxembourg at the end of the month.

“I think [Porter] was extremely talented and ahead of his time,” said writer and director Neil Johnson. “He didn’t just write cutesy love songs, he wrote about love, betrayal, and lust. Some of his songs were a bit spicy, and banned in their day.”

Johnson was particularly interested in Porter’s personal life and took a year to write the script for Far too hot!, which takes audiences through the composer’s life in chronological order from when he graduated from college to his 40s. The story unfolds around 20 Porter songs, some catchy, some ballads.

Sexual policy

Catriona Gilham plays Porter’s wife, Linda Lee Thomas. She was eight years his senior and divorced from an abusive husband. Gilham describes her as financially independent but a “soul mate” to Porter, even though she was fully aware of her husband’s bisexuality. “She’s a rather optimistic character, a confident socialite.”


The show will be played on three evenings and two afternoons from November 24 to 27 at the Hollerich Cultural Center

The show will be played on three evenings and two afternoons from November 24 to 27 at the Hollerich Cultural Center

Photo: Pirate Productions

Johnson’s script delves into relationships and sex, and while there’s no nudity, he says the adult themes make it more appropriate for audiences aged 12 or older.

“There are comedic moments, but it’s not a comedy,” he said. “I liked the idea of ​​exploring marriage, gender politics, sexuality and fidelity within a relationship. It’s not a Doris Day musical, it’s meaty stuff.

Far too hot! has a cast of 19, most of whom sing, dance and act. “There are quite a few new cast members, many with choir-trained voices, who have had to learn the acting and dance aspects of the show, but they bring new energy,” says Gilham. She practices her songs and dances for two hours a day, in addition to the three weekly four-hour rehearsals the cast undergoes to be ready for opening night on November 24.

The performance has a duration of two hours plus a 20-minute interval, and the staging and costumes were kept simple, although Gilham had six period costume changes.

Cabaret-style experience

The public will be treated to a cabaret experience, seated at tables of eight people, and can consume drinks from the bar during the show.

“It will be a little more interactive than normal theatrical performances, there will be a bar section used as a play area at the audience level, where the band is also located,” Johnson said, adding that the actors will move around the tables. closest to the stage.

The six-piece band includes keyboards, drums, bass and saxophone, and musical director Philip Dutton has changed some of the arrangements so that while some songs are performed in the style of the period they were written , others have a more jazz or oscillating rhythm style. Johnson also played with the vocals, and two men will sing male/female duets, which changes the music and the meaning of the lyrics, he explains.

Far too hot! will take place from November 24 to 27 at the Center Culturel Hollerich, 34 rue Emile Lavandier. Tickets are available for evening performances Thursday through Saturday and weekend matinees.


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