Cole Porter revue plays in Sarasota

'Too Darn' celebrates one of America's greatest songwriters

February 20, 2014 

From left: Ruthie Stephens, Stephen Hope, Gayle Samuels and Derrick Cobey in "Too Darn Hot" at the Florida Studio Theater. Photo by Brian Braun

Playwright Russel Crouse once said that Cole Porter's songs filled him with such warmth and satisfaction that he felt as though he had just dined on sunbeams covered in chocolate sauce.

You can find out what that feels like by catching "Too Darn Hot," a new musical revue at Florida Studio Theatre that celebrates the great songs by one of America's greatest songwriters.

FST artistic director Richard Hopkins is the director and co-wrote of "Too Darn Hot," which captures the playful, sophisticated and romantic spirit of Porter's music with such songs as "Anything Goes," "I Love Paris," "It's De-Lovey" and "I Get a Kick Out of You."

Porter's career began in earnest in the 1920s and lasted until the mid-1950s, he made some forays into film and television, most notably the 1856 movie "High Society," but his greatest success by far came on Bradway, where he he wrote such classics as "Anything Goes" and "Kiss Me, Kate."

The four-person cast includes Broadway veterans Derrick Cobey and Gayle Samuels, Stephen Hope who was in "By Gershwin" at FST last year, and Ruthi Samuels, who recently won a Broadway World Award for her portrayal of Yitzhak in "Hedwig and the Angry Inch."

Details: Feb. 19-June 7, John C. Court Cabaret at Florida Studio Theatre, 241 N Palm Ave., Sarasota. Show times: Various. Tickets: $18-$36. Information: 941-366-9000, www.floridastudiotheatre.org.

--Marty Clear

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