Entertainment Magazine: Travel: New York Entertainment Magazine

"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. 
Set in a superficially stunning penthouse apartment in a luxury high-rise, the show feels like a night spent reliving the past with an strange relative. 

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.
Love, Linda:  The Life of Mrs. Cole Porter is a one-woman, tour de force musical and theatrical journey, starring acclaimed jazz vocalist Stevie Holland.  Love, Linda explores the life of Linda Lee Thomas, The Southern beauty who, at the dawn of the Roaring Twenties, married and was a driving force behind legendary songwriter Cole Porter.  Though Porter was gay, their companionship and love lasted through 35 years of marriage and together they lived a spectacular, glamour-filled life. 

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.
Let's hope for a bright future and bright lights on Broadway for this dazzling work of art!
"Love, Linda:  The Life of Mrs. Cole Porter" completed its run on January 5, 2014 at Saint Peter's Theater on East 54th Street and Lexington Avenue.  2014 begins with Musicals in Mufti Series:  Celebrating Sheldon Harnick January 17th.  For more information on future performances at the theater please visit http://www.yorktheatre.org/

Photos courtesy of York Theatre Company

New York Entertainment Magazine

Entertainment Magazine Home Page
Watch free movies, download free music, read entertainment news

© 2014 EMOL.org New York Entertainment Magazine. All rights reserved.