Do you “get a kick out of champagne”? You might want to consider an evening of Cole Porter’s witty lyrics and melodies: American Showstoppers featuring Fred Barton & His Orchestra. The concerts, starring a cast of today’s best Broadway performers, will take place at Pace University’s Schimmel Center in Manhattan on Friday, March 4 at 7:30 p.m. and then Kingsborough Community College’s “On Stage at Kingsborough” in Brooklyn on Saturday, March 5 at 8:00 p.m.
Broadway regulars scheduled to appear include Lisa Howard (It Shoulda Been You), John Bolton (A Christmas Story: The Musical), Beth Leavel (Tony Award winner for The Drowsy Chaperone), Sean McGibbon, Paula Leggett Chase, Damon Kirsche, Karen Murphy and Jesse Luttrell in addition to the Scott Thompson Dancers. The show is produced, orchestrated, conducted and hosted by Fred Barton with direction and choreography by Scott Thompson.
Cole Porter is known for his witty and provocative lyrics as well as his sophisticated rhythms and melodies. He was responsible for New York stage hits like Anything Goes, Kiss Me Kate and Can-Can and his songbook includes standards such as “Night and Day,” “You’re the Top,” “I Love Paris,” “Let’s Do It” and “Begin the Beguine.” Barton’s evening features distinctive showstoppers from all phases of Porter’s career, from the Great White Way to Hollywood, including hit songs and hidden gems alike. Some selections will be heard with Broadway-style orchestration for the first time in New York since their debuts up to 90 years ago.
“Porter came from a completely different background from most of his Broadway peers, and his wealthy background accounts for his unique and distinctive style and outlook,” commented Barton. “He delighted in bringing down his high society world a notch in his comic songs, full of keen satirical, sexual, and heart-breaking observations. His love songs showed an autobiographical empathy for the hidden plight of the well-to-do, full of sophisticated yearning and regret that humanized even his loftiest characters, revealing them to be just as vulnerable and feeling, deep down, as the man in the street.”
American Showstoppers: An Evening with Cole Porter
Pace University’s Schimmel Center
3 Spruce Street, Manhattan
Kingsborough Community College
2001 Oriental Boulevard, Brooklyn