Sunday, February 19, 2012

In the Wings: Red Hot and Cole. Meet Paul Addison.

Paul Addison is music director of 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 want to be involved with Red Hot and Cole?
Paul Addison: I've always liked Cole Porter songs, ever since I was in fifth grade taking piano lessons and learning to play "Begin the Beguine." I've always thought his songs are funny, and the lyrics are really witty.

Q: What will an audience experience when they attend Red Hot and Cole?
P.A.: There are around 40 songs in this musical. It's a bit like a musical revue except it's staged so that they move from party to party. The songs are funny, and I think they reach the audience on two levels. First, the beauty of the songs themselves – they're catchy tunes, easy to remember and whistle, and they stick in your head. Second, it's the double meanings, the jokes and the puns – all of the things that, when you think about it, make you crack up because they're so funny.

Q: What are some highlights working with this cast?
P.A.: None of us grew up with Cole Porter; he was popular in the 1920s and 1930s. But I'm surprised at the number of young people who are discovering Cole Porter's music for the first time. On our Facebook group page, we've been sharing photos of the real people from that time: Cole Porter, Monty Woolley, Hedda Hopper and Ethel Merman. They're learning who these people are, and that era is coming alive for us.

Q: What is your favorite Cole Porter song?
P.A.: I think my favorite song of all time is "So in Love," which is actually in Kiss Me, Kate. But it appears in Red Hot and Cole, too.

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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