Exclusive: I Get A Kick Out of Cole

By Richard Schultz - Sept. 5, 2014

This new musical revue by local artists and partners, Steve Hilderbrand and Gary Gallner, offers audiences the opportunity to revisit Cole Porter’s music with all its sparkle and sass.

“His music is so deeply ingrained in the American songbook that Porter songs are recognizable to everyone, whether they know it going in or not,” said Hilderbrand, the show’s musical director. “Beyond that, he was a very interesting character whose music reflected much of the complexity of his personality.”

Porter’s homosexuality was an integral part of his life and music. Although he was married to the same woman for most of his adult life, his homosexuality definitely peppered that relationship.

According to the show’s creators, part of their intent in writing this adaptation was to examine Porter’s marriage and how it weathered the peaks and valleys of his career and persisted despite the many gay dalliances that colored it.

“To the uninitiated, Cole's music is elegant and sophisticated,” Gallner said. “His inside joke, however, is that the words have another meaning – often risqué – that at the time they were written, only his inner circle of friends would get.”

While the score covers Porter’s career and music from the 1930s through the 1950s, one special song was significant to the revue’s creators, who admit to working on this show off and on for years.

“‘I Worship You’ is not really well known, but is incredibly beautiful and meaningful in its simplicity and emotion,” Hilderbrand said. “It has become one of our favorites and one of our friends actually sang it at our wedding in July.”

The production team, comprised of scenic designer Brett Aiken, costume designer Tamara Treat and hair and makeup designer Jean Tanton, has gone to great lengths to recreate the feel of a 1930s Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movie, the creators added.

Audiences can expect to be transported into the lush world of Cole Porter, with Broadway openings and cafe society defined by classic tunes and long forgotten gems. – E


I Get a Kick Out of Cole

Sept. 5-28

Theater Works

8355 W. Peoria Ave., Peoria

Tickets: $31-$35


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