"Love, Linda: The Life of Mrs. Cole Porter"
From Stevie Holland & Gary William Friedman
By Lynn Marie
This musical revue is York Theatre Company's recent production, which tells the story of Linda Porter, wife of legendary composer Cole Porter and the turbulent yet at times, extraordinary life she led with the entertainer.
Over the course of the years, Mr. and Mrs. Porter's lives had ups and downs but what this particular piece focuses on is the love- the link that these two held for each other and how two independent people and two very different people stayed together, for the most part, for decades.
Cole Porter was the "Golden Boy" in the 1920's and in the 1930's but in 1937, Cole was involved in a horse riding accident and fractured both of his legs.
This was a personal tragedy for a vain man who placed an enormous value on looks for both social and sexual reasons. His vibrant energy and obession to maintain his looks through elaborate daily ritual could not (in his opinion) compensate for such a debilitating blow to his health and his ego. He was in the hospital for months, but his mental and physical health waned.
It got worse with the eventual amputation of one of his legs. This did not stop Cole from writing music. Although, after the accident the industry clearly had written him off until "Kiss Me Kate" came along which turned out to be Cole Porter's last major production he ever composed.
With swinging, jazz-inflected arrangements by award-winning composer Gary William Friedman, Cole Porter's timeless music and lyrics weave through the compelling narrative written by Holland and Friedman, celebrating the deep love that Linda and Cole shared, while examining the darker sides of their life.
sThe score for Love, Linda includes such beloved Porter songs as "Night and Day", "I Love Paris," "In the Still of the Night" and "Love for Sale."
What was so capitaving about the production was that every song in the show was trying to make a point, and it succeeded in doing just that.
Photos courtesy of York Theatre Company