The Songs and Shows of Cole Porter -- John Frey
Thursdays, January 4, 11, 18 & 25, 2024 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Odd Fellows Hall, SLO
$20 for LLCC Members $40 for Others
In this course you will view videos of DeLovely, (a biographical film), Anything Goes, Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew and Kiss Me Kate. The films will be shown over four sessions.
This course uses a DVD of the complete movie and a 37-page syllabus including biographies, production, sources, commentary, analysis and synopses.
Cole Albert Porter (June 9, 1891 – October 15, 1964) was an American composer and songwriter. Born to a wealthy family in Indiana, he took up music as a profession. Classically trained, he was drawn towards musical theater. He began to achieve success in the 1920s, and by the 1930s he was one of the major songwriters for the Broadway musical stage. Porter wrote the lyrics as well as the music for his songs.
After a serious horseback riding accident in 1937, Porter was left disabled and in constant pain, but continued to work. His shows of the early 1940s did not contain the lasting hits but in 1948 he made a comeback with his most successful musical, Kiss Me, Kate. It won the first Tony Award for a best musical.
Porter's most popular musical was Anything Goes. His numerous hit songs include "Night and Day,” "I Get a Kick Out of You,” "I've Got You Under My Skin,” "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" and "You're the Top.” He composed scores for films from the 1930s to the 1950s which featured the songs "You'd Be So Easy to Love" and and "In the Still of the Night” De-Lovely De-Lovely is a 2004 American musical biopic based on the life and career of Cole Porter, from his first meeting with his wife, Linda Lee Thomas, until his death. It is the second biopic about the composer, following 1946's Night and Day. DeLovely premiered at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. Anything Goes Anything Goes is a musical comedy which concerns madcap antics aboard an ocean liner bound from New York to London. Billy Crocker is a stowaway in love with heiress Hope Harcourt, who is engaged to Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. Nightclub singer Reno Sweeney and Public Enemy Number 13, "Moonface" Martin, aid Billy in his quest to win Hope. Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew The Taming of the Shrew is a comedy by William Shakespeare, written between 1590 and 1592. The main plot depicts the courtship of Petruchio, a gentleman of Verona, and Katherina, the headstrong, obdurate shrew. Initially, Katherina is an unwilling participant in the relationship, but Petruchio tempers her with various psychological torments - the "taming" - until she becomes a compliant and obedient bride. The subplot features a competition between the suitors of Katherina's more desirable sister, Bianca. The play's misogynistic elements are the subject of considerable controversy, among modern audiences. It has been adapted numerous times for stage, screen, opera, and musical theater; perhaps the most famous adaptation being Cole Porter's musical Kiss Me, Kate and the 1967 film version of the original play, starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Kiss Me, Kate Kiss Me, Kate is a musical with music and lyrics by Cole Porter based on Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. It is a play-within-a-musical featuring the conflict on and off-stage between the director, producer, and star of performance of the Shrew, and his leading lady and ex-wife. Kiss Me, Kate was the first show Porter wrote in which the music and lyrics were firmly connected to the script; it proved to be his biggest hit. In 1949 it won the first Tony Award for Best Musical.
John Frey taught chemistry and engaged in chemical research for 45 years at several universities and is now retired. He serves on the Board of Directors of OperaSLO, the Lifelong Learners of the Central Coast and is a member of the Rotary Club. He teaches courses on classic movies, opera and musical theater for LLCC and OperaSLO. He has had over 7 decades of singing experience with various choral groups and has performed in the choruses of of the SLO Master Chorale and OperaSLO.