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Chorale pays tribute to Broadway icon Cole Porter

Sophisticated wit, charm and lively song are the trademarks of legendary Broadway composer and songwriter Cole Porter, and the Rogue Valley Chorale will bring his iconic work to the local stage this weekend.

The chorale will present “Cole! The Music of Broadway Icon Cole Porter” on Saturday and Sunday,

May 4-5 at the Collier Center’s Craterian Theater, where two of Porter’s most popular Broadway musicals will be highlighted — “Kiss Me, Kate” and “Anything Goes.”

Singers from the chorale will perform selections of other Broadway favorites from Porter’s repertoire of music, including love songs, comic numbers and sultry torch songs. A jazz band will accompany the concert featuring Mikiko Petrucelli on piano, David Miller on string bass and Theresa McCoy on percussion.

The concert opens with a selection of songs from the 1948 musical “Kiss Me, Kate,” which is the musical version of Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew.” The first song to be performed will — naturally — be “Another Op’nin, Another Show,” the chorale said in a press release.

Artistic Director Michael Morris will join Ellie Holt-Murray for “Wunderbar,” followed by the gutsy alto voice of Mary Lynn Lucas on “Why Can’t You Behave?” Other songs featured include a semi-staged rendition of “Tom, Dick, or Harry,” “So In Love” and “Brush Up Your Shakespeare.” Livia Genise will sing “Night and Day” from the 1934 musical “Gay Divorcee.” The first half of the concert ends with “It’s De-Lovely,” featuring the chorale in its entirety.

Following intermission, the concert will continue with “Well, Did You Evah?” from the 1956 musical “High Society,” featuring soloists Phil Koenig and Danika Locey, and “It’s Alright with Me” from 1953’s “Can-Can.”

The concert culminates with five songs from Porter’s Iconic 1934 musical “Anything Goes,” which tells of madcap antics aboard an ocean liner bound from New York to London. Featured songs include “Blow Gabriel, Blow” performed by Genise and the chorale; “There’ll Always Be a Lady Fair” sung by a men’s quartet; “All through the Night,” and a delightfully humorous rendition of “Friendship,” performed by Laura Rich and Terry Falkner. The concert finishes with “Anything Goes,” arranged by Phil Kern.

Widely recognized as a musical genius, Porter (1891-1964) remains one of the most prolific songwriters of the 1900s. He wrote over 300 songs before finishing college.

Porter composed for more than 30 Broadway plays, wrote for films and left a legacy of many hundreds of songs that remain popular today. Many of Porter’s songs were viewed as scandalous and were never published until decades after being written.

The concerts are set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 4, and 3 p.m. Sunday, May 5, at the Craterian, 23 S. Central Ave., Medford.Tickets are $10 and $20, $5 for students and children, and can be purchased at the box office, online at craterian.orgor by calling 541-779-3000. See roguevalleychorale.org for more information.

Artistic Director Michael Morris, of the Rogue Valley Chorale direts. (Photo by Michael D. Davis)
The Rogue Valley Chorale at Craterian Collier Center for the Performing Arts. (Photo by Michael D. Davis)