In the Still of the Night: an evening with Cole Porter

In the Still of the Night: an evening with Cole Porter
Written and performed by Allison Farrow. Dell'arte Productions, supported By The Tasmanian Theatre Co. Theatre Royal Backspace, Hobart. Director: Sara Brown. October 5 – 9, 2011

Is writer/performer Allison Farrow, In the Still of the Night: an evening with Cole Porter, an actor who sings or a singer who acts? In the Still of the Nightis a musical journey through the life and songs of the great composer, as told from the point of view of his wife of more than 30 years, Linda. Beautiful, wealthy and influential, Linda was Cole’s muse, confidant and soul-mate. The two shared a genuine and devoted union. Written and performed by singer/actress Allison Farrow, directed by Sara Brown and accompanied by Aaron Powell, In the Still of the Night explores the unconventional relationship of Linda and Cole Porter and the life of the woman behind the man. Once more, Allison Farrow is sexy and captivating. In this well structured chronology of the life and music of Cole Porter, Farrow showed how the woman as the muse influenced his work. As the character Linda said: “Cole never published a work with showing it to me first.” Farrow presented familiar song “Don’t Fence Me In” with a cowboy feel, yet in a very sexy way. In the setting of a soiree’ or nightclub, the songs unfolded in seamless fashion, with Farrow belting, crooning and caressing Porter’s lovely music and lyrics. Standards “I Get a Kick Out Of You”, “Night and Day”, It's All Right With Me” and “I've Got You Under My Skin” were sensitively interpreted. Lesser known songs: “I Like Pretty Things”, “I Happen To Like New York”, “I Hate Men”, “Be A Clown” and “Who Said Gay Paree?” were in turn given cheeky, cynical, playful and poignant treatment from this accomplished performer. Her rendition of “Begin the Beguine” in the final act is lovely. Dressed simply and elegantly, in a strapless black velvet gown in the first act, then seashell-pink satin, draped blouse and black Palazzo pants in the second, Allison was consistently lovely. Choreographer Jacquie Coad was a discreet influence on the feel of the show. We all get a kick out of an Allison Farrow production.

Merlene Abbott  

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