Friday, February 24, 2012

In the Wings: Red Hot and Cole. Meet Mary Beth Weckerlin.


Mary Beth Weckerlin plays Linda Porter 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 Beth Weckerlin: I love the Cole Porter music. I knew that Gail Deagan would be playing keyboard; she's a dear friend of mine and I knew it would be fun to do it with her. I felt pretty familiar with the tunes, although I've now learned otherwise.

Q: Who was Linda Porter and what was her relationship with Cole Porter like?
M.B.W.: Linda was an aristocrat from Louisville, Kentucky, who found herself in Paris in the 1920s. She was very sophisticated and came from a lot of wealth. All reports were that she was genteel and she had a beautiful disposition. Her relationship with Cole began when she first met him; he was gentle and she had just finished a bad marriage where she probably had been physically harmed. Cole represented a genteel, kind, soft-hearted man. She really fell in love with him. Although she found out he was homosexual or bisexual, they had some sort of understanding because they had a very long marriage. It appeared to everyone to be very amiable and loving.

Q: What is your favorite Cole Porter song?
M.B.W.: At first it was "Night and Day," but now I think it might be "So in Love."

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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