Cole Porter Revue Makes San Francisco Debut, June 3, 2016
E-Newsletter, May 2016
From Manhattan to Marin to San Francisco? That’s exactly what happened at the Herbst Theater in San Francisco on June 3, 2016.
A heart-felt thank you to everyone who came to our performance! We appreciate your support. Enjoy the story from our e-news this past May prior to the event…
We are bringing back Les Ambassadeurs Revue, a Cole Porter production heard only twice in America in 86 years. This is the production that we sold out in Marin in 2014 and created such national buzz in the media when it debuted in New York a few months earlier.
Just when you thought everything the noted composer had written was known, up pops the lost music to a 1928 Paris night club revue entitled “The Ambassadors.” It’s not vintage, but early Cole Porter on his way to becoming a heralded and finely honed craftsman.
How did The Cole Porter Society and the Bay Area get so lucky?
The show, rediscovered by Broadway expert and author Ken Bloom, was performed in America, June 27th of 2014 at Town Hall, New York where the 1400 seat venue was sold out in 3 days. I was there.
The idea came to me: why not bring it here to Marin?
My wife Meredith and I live in Marin and formed The Cole Porter Society earlier that year.
With a little help from good friends who choose to remain anonymous, we secured the rights to a one-time-only performance at the Marin Center Showcase Theater and rounded up the top Marin and Bay Area vocal and dance talent. We then reached out to New York and Chicago to bring in their heavy hitters to supplement our ensemble. The result is a stellar cast starting with : Mill Valley’s Grammy nominated soprano Desiree Goyette; Mountain Play veteran Patrick Leveque; local favorite Deborah Winters, 15 year old Tiburon vocal sensation Sofia Perozzi will also appear.
We reached out to other parts of the Bay Area, bringing in the superb song stylist Amanda King, as well as recitalists and highly sought after operatic baritone and tenor leads, Martin Bell and Michael Dailey.
To give the performance a Manhattan touch, two seasoned veterans are flying out to add their considerable talents: the esteemed Society pianist, Peter Mintun and legendary jazz composer and arranger, Grammy award winner Laurence Hobgood.
Acclaimed Chicago based Cole Porter expert Charles Troy will give a pre-performance multi-media presentation on Cole Porter in Paris.
The show will be directed by New Yorker, Ken Bloom, the archivist who unearthed this lost work.
To say this is a coup for San Francisco is an understatement. This show sold out in Marin and we are bringing it to a wider audience to share the genius of Cole Porter.
Proceeds from this show will allow us to keep the musical legacy of Cole Porter and the Great American Songbook alive to the younger generation through performances at schools, universities and community events.
WHEN: Friday, June 3rd, 8PM
WHERE: Herbst Theater, 401 Van Ness Ave. San Francisco
Fundraising Ticket Prices: $125, $95, $65.
50% of ticket price is tax deductible.
Purchase tickets now.
Many thanks to our media partners, The San Francisco Chronicle and KCSM Radio.
Patricia Morison Accepts the First Lifetime Achievement Award from The Cole Porter Society.
Patricia Morison, the first Kate in Kiss Me Kate, just celebrated her 101st birthday by accepting The Cole Porter Lifetime Achievement Award. The award was in the form of a vintage cigarette case from the 1940’s…the same kind that Linda Porter gave to Cole on each of his opening nights. Ms. Morison lives in LA, in the same apartment since 1965. The story of how she won the role is described in William McBrides book, “Cole Porter, A Biography.”
“Cole was sitting in his house in Hollywood glooming over the fact that there was no leading lady in sight when the show’s director, John. C. Wilson arrived. The scion of a wealthy family and a graduate of Yale (ten years after Cole), Jack had been Noel Coward’s long time lover and still acted as his manager. “I’ve just heard… about a girl,” Wilson said. “She plays bit parts in B and C pictures”…a little later Miss Morison arrived in an old jalopy driven by her father. To her, this was not a serious audition as they already had an opera star in line for the role, but an opportunity to help her gain experience.” “the moment I saw her,” Cole said, “I thought this is it, if she can sing.” She replied hesitantly that she used to sing, but Hollywood wouldn’t let her. She purposefully sang a few Rodgers and Hammerstein songs. Cole gave her a few songs and told her to go home and learn them. Two weeks later she reappeared, looking ravishing, but Porter was dissatisfied with her voice. “Get someone to train your voice,” Cole said, “and I’ll get Constance Collier to give you lessons in reading Shakespeare.” The rest is history…she won the part as the lead in one of the most beloved and successful of Cole Porter’s Broadway productions.