By Bonnie Goldberg

Dust off your top hat, polish your suave, sophisticated and urbane banter and waltz over to the Westport Country Playhouse for a two hour dose of delightful and de-lovely Cole Porter song and dance in “Hot ‘n Cole: A Cole Porter Celebration” sparkling until Saturday, June 28.

From left, Peter Reardon, Lewis Cleale, Shonn Wiley.
Photo by T. Charles Erickson

More than forty Porter tunes about subjects as diverse as jazz and gigolos, love and lullabies, will be crooned by a sextet of entertainers:  Whitney Bashor, Donna Lynne Champlin, Lewis Cleale, Andrea Dora, Peter Reardon and Shonn Wiley.  Some tunes are standard Cole Porter right from America’s songbook like “I Get a Kick Out of You,” “In the Still of the Night,” “Too Darn Hot,” “You Do Something to Me” and “Night and Day” while others are a bit more obscure like “Dizzy Baby,”  “Miss Otis Regrets,”. “I’m Back in Circulation” and “I’m Throwin’ a Ball Tonight.”

If you sang all of Cole Porter’s tunes, you’d be singing for weeks.  He wrote three hundred songs just while he was at Yale University.  Even after a 1937 riding accident that crushed his legs, causing him constant pain and necessitating more than two dozen operations, he continued to write hits like “Kiss Me, Kate,”  “Can-Can” and “Silk Stockings.”

The son of a wealthy coal and timber speculator, Cole took up the violin at age six, the piano at age eight and, with his mother’s help, wrote an operetta at age ten.  Songs like “You’d Be So Easy to Love,” “Another Openin’ of Another Show,” “You’re the Top” and  “Just One of Those Things” cement Cole’s place in our musical landscape.  James Naughton directs this lively revue created by David Armstrong, Mark Waldrop and Bruce W. Coyle.

For tickets ($30-56), call Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off route 1, Westport (exit 42 off the Merritt, exit 18 off I-95) at 203-227-4177 or 888-927-7529 or online at

Performances are tonight at 8 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.

“Hot ‘n Cole” is perfect light summer fare that is definitely de-lightful and de-lovely.  It’s fun just to count the names Porter drops into his lyrics from Romeo and Juliet to Elsa Maxwell, Columbus to Beethoven, Mona Lisa to Rodgers and Hart.

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