Thursday, February 23, 2012

In the Wings: Red Hot and Cole. Meet Mary Anne Cecil.

Mary Anne Cecil plays Hedda Hopper in Red Hot and Cole, the fourth show of the 2011-2012 MainStage season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. The book is by James Bianchi, Muriel McAuley and Randy Strawderman; the music and lyrics are by Cole Porter.

Question: Why did you audition for Red Hot and Cole?
Mary Anne Cecil: I love musicals, and I like working with Kate Walker. One of my other favorite people to work with, Linnea Leatherman, also is in the show. So it's kind of like "Old Home Week."

Q: Who was Hedda Hopper? What was her relationship with Cole Porter?
M.A.C.: Hedda Hopper was an actress early on, but Hollywood didn't move her in the direction she wanted to move. She became a gossip columnist with all the scoops and special news. She made people upset from time to time, a lot like the tabloids and movie magazines today. She was part of the entourage - socialites, actors, musicians, businesspeople and people with money - who did a lot of things with Cole and Linda Porter.

Q: What is your favorite Cole Porter song?
M.A.C.: There are so many wonderful songs that you hear and don't even realize that he wrote them. He was a prolific songwriter. "Night and Day" is one of my favorites.

Red Hot and Cole opens Friday, March 2 and runs three consecutive weekends through Sunday, March 18 at the historic Monon Depot Theatre at the corner of 5th Street and North Street in downtown Lafayette.

Friday and Saturday shows begin at 7:30 p.m. Sunday shows begin at 2:30 p.m. For more information about the show or to order tickets, call 765-423-PLAY (7529) or visit Civic Theatre's website.

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