Review: Hot ‘N Cole is De-Lovely

Linda Voremberg, Contributing Writer | The Foothills Focus

Hot 'n ColeCAVE CREEK – The lyrics of one of Cole Porter’s most famous songs aptly describes the current Desert Foothills Theater Main Stage Show at the Cactus Shadows Fine Arts Center. It is delightful and energetic, fast-paced and full of very familiar songs. Theater audiences will find themselves humming the music, even if they are too young to remember the words. Some of the songs are interpreted in a more modern way and others in the original style so there is something for all age groups.

The performers are a company that blends their voices beautifully, harmonizing and obviously very well rehearsed. The costumes reflect the 1930’s and 40’s when Cole Porter was at his peak and the cast includes historical notes as they sing and dance.

The influence of Emmy award-winning choreographer and director Dee Dee Wood is seen throughout the performance with the dancing and timing for which she is so famous. Shannon Wallace is sophisticated and slinky in “I’ve Still Got My Health” and Charlie Jourdan is smooth and masculine with his baritone voice in “I’m a Gigalo.” Lizz Reeves rolls her eyes and shakes her fists in “I Hate Men” and Valerie Saunders yearns for New York in “Take Me Back to Manhattan.”

Chris Fidler uses his fine tenor voice to tell the “Tale of the Oyster” but musical director and pianist Bill P. Moore and The Company bring the audience to tears with “Broth of a Boy”, an unproduced Irish tune that is dedicated to “the fine young men and women taken from us too soon.”

At last, the finale “You’re the Top” leaves everyone singing and clapping along and so happy to have shared this de-lovely musical experience. Hot ‘N Cole, the Cole Porter Celebration, runs through Jan. 28 on Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons. Tickets are available at the door or call (480) 488-1981.

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