Showing posts with label Broadway Musical. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Broadway Musical. Show all posts

Monday, October 9, 2017

LEONARD BERNSTEIN and the Story of the WEST SIDE STORY

Leonard Bernstein by Jack Mitchell.jpg
 "Leonard Bernstein by Jack Mitchell" by Jack Mitchell.Photo Wikipedia
At the age of 15, Louis became Leonard Bernstein. As a child, Leonard was always interested in music and was frequently taken to concerts. He began to play piano and attended the Garrison School, Boston Latin School, Harvard University, and the Curtis Institute of Music. In his life, Bernstein accomplished a great deal. When "West Side Story" came to life, his career skyrocketed.

Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" has been a classic love story for hundreds of years. In 1957, the classic masterpiece of love, death, and fury was given a new flare. Leonard Bernstein composed the music for the cast of main characters. With a plot similar to "Romeo and Juliet," the musical amazed audiences worldwide. Arthur Laurents wrote the book. Bernstein composed the music, and Stephen Sondheim created the lyrics for Bernstein's music.

The love story is set in 1950's upper west side Manhattan. The plot, similar to Shakespeare's infamous love story, surrounds two gangs. A member of each gang falls in love. Tony, who is a Manhattan gang member, falls in love with Maria, a Puerto Rican gang leader's sister. Like Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet," "West Side Story" illuminated themes of juvenile delinquency, but the delinquency was represented through the gang wars and mischief instead of rival families.

The music by Leonard Bernstein from the play has become quite popular over the last 51 years, especially with the 1961 release of "West Side Story" the film. Bernstein's most famous numbers include the following: "Maria," "America," "Somewhere," "Jet Song," and "I Feel Pretty".

Starting on September 26, 1957, "West Side Story" was performed 732 times prior to going on tour. It was nominated for Best Musical in 1957's Tony Awards, but it did not win. However, the Tony Award for Best Choreography did go to "West Side Story" that year. 2008 marks the 50th-anniversary revival of "West Side Story." The revival begins July 22 at Sadler's Wells Theatre in London. While the original cast will not be performing, the new cast is eager to perform this amazing play, which has been staged in numerous theatres and opera houses all over the world. Another revival is set for Washington, D.C.'s National Theatre and in mid-December.

National tours for "West Side Story" have crossed the United States, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Australia, Israel, and Africa. Adaptations of the play have also been written. Philippe Gobeille presented a French version of this play in 2008 in Quebec and a Philippine version is scheduled to begin performances in September 2008.


References to "West Side Story" and many of the musical pieces in it have influenced many facets of music and culture. "I Feel Pretty" has been featured in the films "Anger Management" and "Dirty Dancing." References to the play can also be exhibited in "Analyze That," "Shrek," Michael Jackson's "Beat It" music video, Saturday Night Live, and Friends.

References to the play can also be heard in modern music. Santana's "Maria Maria," Kiss's "Hide Your Heart," Metallica's "America," Dire Straits' "Romeo and Juliet," and Alice Cooper's "Gutter Cat vs. the Jets" all have ties or references to "West Side Story." Bernstein's legendary music will remain a staple of pop culture for centuries to come.



Tuesday, September 5, 2017

MARY POPPINS - Inspired from Children’s Series Book

Mary Poppins on Broadway today is only an inspired version from the book written by P. L. Travers which was illustrated by Mary Shepard. That book talks about the strange and magical English nanny named Mary Poppins. She came to Seventeen Cherry Tree Lane, London in the family of Banks. She takes care of their children. The kids experience different adventures with chimney sweeps and shopkeepers until Mary Poppins suddenly pops out.

Mary Poppins
Photo  by Sam Howzit 
The adventure does not only take place in one book but up until to the eight book. Mary Poppins can only be seen arriving and leaving in the first three books. It is explained by P. L. Travers that "She cannot forever arrive and depart" in that next five books.

It was then brought to musical Disney film in 1964 which starred by Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. Then there was a stage musical adaptation in the West End theatre during the year 2004. By the year 2006, it was transferred to Broadway. Till now it is still running and more people are coming to watch the show. It is as successful as the classic 1964 film.

In fact, by the year 1938, there was already an attempt to purchase the film rights to Mary Poppins from P. L. Travers. Unluckily, Travers rejected the offer due to his belief that the film is not capable of giving justice to her work and she did not want an animated cartoon based on it. Fortunately, in the year 1961 Walt Disney succeeded but Travers demanded script approval rights.

It consumed two years of planning the film and composing the songs. Sherman Brothers created the songs in the film. The casts were played by Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins, Dick Van Dyke as supporting the role of Bert, Karen Dotrice and Matthew Garber as the Banks children and David Tomlinson and Glynis Johns as Mr. and Mrs. Banks. The film is rated G by the MPAA. It was observed that Mary was kinder than in her character in Traver's novels.

You can see all the adventures from the book in the films. You will witness additional adventures added by Walt Disney and his associates.

Six years ago a musical version of Mary Poppins opened at the Prince Theatre, London which is inspired by the Disney film and the books. It was praised by many viewers and luckily recommended for nine 2005 Olivier Awards. They won awards for Best Actress in a Musical for Laura Michelle and Best Theatre Choreography for Matthew Bourne and Stephen Mear. The original music and lyrics by Sherman brothers was use and was added with new songs and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe.


By the year 2006, a Broadway production opened at the New Amsterdam Theatre, New York. It was a box office success and even nominated for Tony Awards for seven times. In fact, they won Best Scenic Design of a Musical for Bob Crowley. There are tour productions to many places among are National UK tour and National US tour.

Mary Poppins continue being friendly and helpful from the Disney film. She became vainer than her film portrayal following the books.


    Sebastian Mayer has watched some great shows of Broadway. - Article Source: GoArticles


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Broadway MUSICALS - CATS

Some of the greatest Broadway shows are no longer available as live performances but have been recorded so that they bring out people get to see them even in future, long after the show as already has been performed.

CatsMusicalLogo.jpg
This is a logo owned by RUG Ltd. for illustration of the article on the subject indicated by this logo.

A playwright by the name Andrew Lloyd Webber created a show that was known as the Broadway musicals cats. This has been proven to be one of the most exhilarating shows to ever have been made. It grasped audiences in multitudes. People could not stop talking about it long after it was performed. This is always a great reward for the playwrights. The reviews for this show were also very worthwhile.

A script could be amazing but the troupe meant to bring out the story could be horrendous. It is therefore of great importance that the troupe act out the story well. The troupe who did the story of the Broadway musicals cats was magnificent. The story being about how cats survive in the world, you could actually be forgiven to think the cats themselves did the acting. This tells you how well the troupe played the roles.


Some people are skeptical about Broadway shows and think that they are only for a certain age limit. The truth is that a show like the Broadway musicals cats is for everyone, be it young or old. The younger ones however seem to have much more fun with the shows than the adults. This is true because of the strong imagination they have. The cats in the show are not like your ordinary Garfield, they have different colors like red and blue. How is that for imagination!


By Peter Gitundu
Peter Gitundu Creates Interesting And Thought Provoking Content on Broadway Dancers. 
Article Source: EzineArticles



Tuesday, November 22, 2016

WICKED the musical is not wicked the novel

The Wicked Witch of the West, Elphaba, was born with a pea-green skin and is considered to be smartest but misunderstood Witch of The Land of Oz. In contrast to her, Glinda the Good Witch is a ravishing and somewhat snooty witch of the region( and not quite what you would expect). Both girls meet in the Land of Oz as the most spectacular musical of the year, "Wicked", begins. Check out the details of wicked tickets here, and get hold of cheap wicked tickets now.

English: The Wicked Witch of The West, melting...
The Wicked Witch of The West, melting after being doused by Dorothy.
From the first edition of The Wizard of Oz. (Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)


Wicked is based on one of the best selling novels, "Wicked: the Life and Times of the Wicked Witches of the West", written by Gregory Maguire. Gregory Maguire creates a fantasy world so rich and vivid that we will never look at the land of the Oz the same way again. In many ways, it's a contemporised', satirical commentary on Oz. Ignoring the obvious ones like a land where animals talk and strive to be treated like first-class citizens. Or the short Munchkins who seek the comfort of middle-class stability, and the Tin Man who becomes a victim of domestic violence. We focus on the little green-skinned girl named Elphaba, who will grow up to become the infamous Wicked Witch of the West. The Wicked witch is a smart, prickly, and misunderstood creature who challenges all our preconceived notions about the nature of good and evil. The story grows more interesting and to enhance your interest, we have some hot seats for you in all theaters. Get discount on wicked tickets for all theaters hosting this play. We have tickets for wicked that you are looking for. Whether you are looking for tickets for wicked in Chicago, wicked tickets Pittsburgh, wicked Kennedy center tickets, wicked Boston tickets, wicked tickets Denver or simply looking for broadway tickets for wicked, in that case, you are at the best site that offers wicked discount tickets for all theaters.

An astonishingly rich re-creation of the Land of Oz, this book retells the story of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, who wasn't so wicked after all. Taking readers past the yellow brick road and into a phantasmagoric world rich with imagination and allegory, Wicked just might change the reputation of one of the most sinister characters in literature. Check out the details of wicked tickets Chicago and buy the wicked Broadway tickets now. Also check out: we offer you Houston, TX tickets to any wicked performance. Wicked has enthralled millions of spectators in every theater, if you want to be one of them, than buy tickets to Wicked now, and be a part of the crowd. Moreover, we offer half Price Wicked tickets to our customers. Purchase tickets to wicked to any theater in your area or get hold of a wicked tickets Broadway to watch the engrossing performance.

Maguire's story begins with a moral about understanding and appreciating differences among people and then becomes a cautionary tale of people in power creating monster villains to distract from their own misdeeds. In the course of the story, he shows that what is a monster to some is a humble, self-sacrificing hero to others. "I'll get you my pretty and your little dog too" is what we all remember from the movie. Wicked twists this tag line, and manages to change our perspective. It is hard not to fall in love with Elphaba, and not start dreading her fate. A fate that we all know well from the movie!

Check out the hottest theaters that are hosting the exotic play. We present wicked's Chicago tickets, Bushnell wicked tickets, Kennedy center wicked tickets, theater tickets for wicked Florida, Boston Opera house wicked tickets, wicked tickets NY as well as wicked tickets in Philadelphia.

The Wicked fairytale is brought to life by the Academy Award winner, Stephen Schwartz's music and lyrics and the musical staging by the Tony Award winner Wayne Cilento. The direction of, by 2003 and 2004 Tony Award winner, Joe Mantello, has made the Wicked one of the spectacular plays of the year. Wicked Tickets are in high demand!

Wicked composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz ...
Wicked composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz (left)
and the Gregory Maguire novel (right),
the musical's stimulus
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)
With a cast led by Broadway legend Ben Vereen, TV icon Rue McClanahan and breakthrough stars Shoshana Bean and Megan Hilty, there's never been a better time to visit the Emerald City! The twists and turns in Gregory Maguire's incredibly imaginative back-story to ‘The Wizard of Oz' makes the audiences literally gasp with delight. But not only that, Wicked is a truly heartfelt story of friendship and love. As Richard Zoglin of ‘Time Magazine' put it, "If every musical had a brain, a heart and the courage of Wicked, Broadway really would be a magical place!"

The plot focuses on the witches of Oz prior to Dorthy's arrival from Kansas. The Wizard (Joel Grey) believes in "The Big Lie" and he practices what he preaches, making everyone believe that the show's heroine, the Wicked Witch of the West, is evil. Wicked is an ambitious musical intended to satisfy both adults and children, with strong themes in a surprisingly complex book by Winnie Holzman. Throwaway lines that get big laughs are peppered throughout the script.

The scenery and costumes of the Wicked spring forth in fairytale colors, allowing children to enjoy the show also. Parents can enjoy the comical dialogue and masterful lyrics. The fairytale is complete with cameos by the Tin Man, Scarecrow, and Cowardly Lion, while The Wizard, acts as the catalyst that ultimately turns the former friends into the witches that they become. The process of bringing "Wicked" to stage was no easy engineering feat. Costing 14 million dollar, the play's production involved over 150 people and took almost two years to become a reality. Built in Calgary, Ontario the show's complex set took over a year and a half to design and had to travel over 1,500 miles to the Curran Theatre in San Francisco.



Wicked the musical is not wicked the novel. While the novel is its source, the musical presents only pieces of it, in a much simplified form, and often diverging wildly from the novel's narrative. One might be tempted to think all this destroys the work; but in the end it enhances it. Wicked the musical puts the spot light on the story's numerous ironies and interlaced levels of social commentary. The fiesta continues for 2 hour 30 minutes of utter magnificence. You can't bear to blink your eye during the whole gala, for fear of missing some of Wicked's glory!

Fans of Gregory Maguire's novel "Wicked" may criticize the changes made by stage adapter Winnie Holzman. She finds a way to send Elphaba and Fiyero into a bittersweet sunset together, and she establishes several reference points to the familiar ‘Wizard of Oz' film that are not in the Maguire book. But most theatergoers will find Wicked well worth the big ticket price. It's an astoundingly good show that puts its politics front-and-center, all wrapped up in a big, entertaining package. A pre-Broadway run was opened in San Francisco at the start of 2003. It was not appreciated very well by the locals. In the original cast, Idiana Menzel acted as Elphaba, Kristin Chenoweth as Glinda and Robert Morse played the role of The Wizard. With extensive significant changes, it was reopened later that year at Gershwin Theatre in New York. Morse was replaced by Joel Gray. There were assorted reviews initially but the general mood became a lot more appreciative. The tide completely turned when "Wicked" got the acclaim it really deserved. Wicked was nominated for ten Tony Awards, including the award for the best Musical. Menzel got the award of the Best Actress in a Musical. The cast also nabbed a Grammy Award for the Best Musical Show Album.

This fantasy-filled musical was the winner of three 2004 Tony Awards including prizes for Best Costume Design and Best Scenic Design. Wicked also had the privilege of being the winner of 2004 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical Award! The uphill effort and zealous exertion of Joe Mantello has made Wicked a true spectacle for the eyes and ears! The popularity of this musical result in long lines to buy Wicked show tickets! The only element of the production that isn't consistently first class is Schwartz's songs. The tunes are a mixed bag, with several bland and forgettable power ballads included with his more distinctive and finely crafted songs. Most of the music rides on the same middling tempos, and little stands out melodically.

"Wicked" earned back its entire initial investment by December 21, 2004. In its first year it grossed more than 56 million dollar. The show has been playing to capacity crowds for almost every recent performance and grosses more than a million dollars every week. The show had a 14 million dollar capitalization. The show set out for extensive national touring in 2005. Successful tours were made to Toronto, Chicago, Denver, Dallas, Los Angles, Fort Lauderdale and Hartford. In late June of 2005 a permanent production of "Wicked" separate from the national tour, opened at Chicago's Oriental Theatre with an open-ended run. "Wicked" will be the first show in decades to run on a permanent basis simultaneously on Broadway and in Chicago's North Loop theatre district. The show also has a heart, a brain, and the nerve to have opened on Broadway. Wicked is a must see show.

Wicked co-producer David Stone reported that the show, which plays the 1,800-seat Gershwin Theatre, had a 26 million-dollar advance. "The advance and the weekly grosses are now higher than they have ever been," said Stone. The musical took in 1,196,658 dollar more than any show on Broadway! No surprise, given it's popularity among the literati and the glitterati. And the relative difficulty in obtaining tickets. Don't forget that we are offering cheapest wicked tickets online, providing you with an opportunity to get hold of broadway tickets to wicked in your own city. Also check out wicked Dallas tickets, wicked tickets Houston, wicked tickets Toronto, tickets to wicked in St. Louis, wicked tickets Florida, wicked tickets Atlanta, GA, or even if you are looking for cheap tickets to wicked in Denver, we have got that for you as well.

The fall of this year is fully loaded by "Wicked" shows all over the United States. Atlanta, Saint Louis, Dallas, Hartford, Tampa, Denver and San Francisco are some of the metropolitan areas where people are looking forward to see one of the most popular shows of the year. The Canadian fans too are really anxious to witness such an astonishing fiesta. Most of the fans have already booked their "Wicked the Musical Tickets". What? You haven't got a ticket yet? Then what are you waiting for? Order at Ticket Nest for the discounted wicked tickets and have the flavor of the memory that will last a lifetime! Wicked is being played all over American theater. But no matter where you are, we have tickets to wicked for you. Check out the details as we offer Wicked tickets in Chicago, Denver wicked tickets, wicked tickets New York, wicked tickets in Houston, as well as Wicked tickets Boston in our magic box.



Tuesday, March 22, 2016

RODGERS and HAMMERSTEIN II, the Greatest Musicals Partnership of all Time

Over the weekend, I drifted to my nearest local EZY video shop. While waiting to be served, I drifted to the comedy, musicals, and the crime sections. It was the musicals that greatly attracted my interest. I've always loved musicals, something amiss nowadays, replaced by films with much violence, sexual overtones, political, science fiction and other action-packed Hollywood offerings. Slowly, my thoughts lingered to refreshing movies with music - The Sound of Music, Carousel, South Pacific, Camelot, My Fair Lady, and Mary Poppins among others. Yes, I particularly mean movie musicals!

Richard Rodgers, Irving Berlin, Oscar Hammerst...
Richard Rodgers, Irving Berlin, Oscar Hammerstein II, and Helen Tamiris (back), watching hopefuls who are being auditioned on stage of the St. James Theatre (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Soon enough my memories wafted to the greatest musical collaboration of all time, that of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, the most successful legendary songwriting team in musical theatre history. Rodgers wrote the music, and Hammerstein wrote the lyrics. Most of the stage musicals of Rodgers and Hammerstein were made into movies, also with phenomenal success, in particular, The Sound of Music.  

At 16, Richard Rodgers (1902-1979) initially wrote a number of successful songs with Lorenz Hart, a partnership that lasted for over twenty years. Hart died in 1943. The same year Rodgers and Hammerstein (1895-1960) teamed up and started their first musical collaboration with Oklahoma! based on a play called 'Green Grow the Lilacs' by Lynn Riggs. Oklahoma! is very different from most musicals written up to that time where they were mainly songs and comedy, with little plot. Usually, the songs had little to do with the story. Oklahoma! has a plot. The songs either help move the plot along or help the audience understand the characters. The story is partly fun, and has a serious side too. This is because Rodgers's background was mostly in the old-style, "fun" musicals, while Hammerstein's background was in opera and operetta--more "serious" types of music. When Rodgers worked with Hart, he wrote the music first, and then Hart wrote the lyrics. But in this new team, Hammerstein wrote the lyrics first and Rodgers created the music to fit.

Audiences loved Oklahoma!. It played on Broadway for 2,248 performances, breaking all Broadway box office records for shows until that time. It also won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1944, which changed the face of stage musicals - an emotional story told through music, dance and lyrics as never before. After Oklahoma! Rodgers and Hammerstein went on to create Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I and The Sound of Music. The impact on these shows for Broadway and amateur stage, both in terms of popular appeal and their influence on other writers, was overwhelming.

Carousel, the duo's next big hit in 1945, had an even more dramatic plot than Oklahoma!. Instead of the usual overture before the show begins, the show opens with the whole cast performing a ballet as the orchestra plays.
South Pacific, written in 1949, and based on 'Tales from the South Pacific' by novelist James A. Michener, is set during World War II. It has the most serious plot of any Rodgers and Hammerstein show because it confronts both war and racism. South Pacific also won the Pulitzer Prize.

The King and I is about conflicts between cultures. It is based on a true story about Anna Leonowens, a British governess who went to Siam (now Thailand) to teach the king's children. Anna finds life in Siam very different from what she is accustomed to, but she and the king come to like each other despite their differences.


Rodgers and Hammerstein's final collaboration was The Sound of Music, in 1959. It is also based on a true story, about a young novice nun who becomes the governess for seven children of a widower, Captain Von Trapp. This musical also has a serious side--it is set in the days of Nazi Germany, and the Von Trapp family's freedom is at stake. The beautiful song "Edelweiss" from The Sound of Music was the last song Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote together. Hammerstein died of cancer on August 23, 1960. After Hammerstein's death, Rodgers wrote other shows with other lyricists, including Stephen Sondheim, but none reached the heights of his work with Hammerstein.

For always, I will relish the most beautiful and poignant legacy of their partnership. How can I forget such immortal, refreshing, and most wonderful hit songs on stage and film history as these:

Oklahoma! - "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'," "People Will Say We're in Love," "Many a New Day," "I Can't Say No," and the final rousing chorus of "Oklahoma!" itself.
Carousel - "You'll Never Walk alone" and "If I loved You."
South Pacific - "There is Nothin' Like a Dame," "This Nearly was Mine," "Younger Than Springtime" and "Some Enchanted Evening."
The King and I - "Getting to Know You," "I Whistle a Happy Tune," "Something Wonderful" and "Hello, Young Lovers."
The Sound of Music - "Edelweiss," "My Favorite Things", "Climb Ev'ry Mountain," "The Lonely Goatherd", as well as the title song.

Who knows, we might yet have another Rodgers and Hammerstein in the making, an anodyne to all these turbulence and disarray in our world today. As I write this, nearby, my sound system is playing Carousel, softly beckoning me to join in. That I never cease listening to their music and at times singing their songs is a privilege. I'm at it now, " ... how I loved you... if I loved you."

    Tel Asiado is an Information Technology professional turned writer, author and consultant. Employed by multi-national organizations in information technology, computing and consulting, she has several years of varied experience as project manager, business solution manager, process and information analyst, and as a business writer. Her writings also reflect her passions for inspirational/motivational and Christian insights, and classical music. Visit one of her websites: http://inspiredpen.4t.com
    Article Source: Ezinearticles


Monday, March 21, 2016

BROADWAY History

Richard Rodgers, Irving Berlin, Oscar Hammerst...
Richard Rodgers, Irving Berlin, Oscar Hammerstein II, and Helen Tamiris (back), watching hopefuls who are being auditioned on stage of the St. James Theatre (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There are many places where you can go to have a great time but none of these will provide you hours of magic like Broadway. Now even though we have all at one time or another seen musical shows and plays on Broadway there must have been a time when Broadway was just a dream. To really know the Broadway history you may have to look in various places.

You can however be assured that you will find rich facts which will make visiting this period in time quite fascinating. You will find out the time when Broadway was first created and the various plays which have been shown. You can find out the ways in which Broadway has managed to withstand the advances of technology.

While you are looking through Broadway history you might also want to see the various plays which have help to keep the history of this place alive. Now even though this part of the Broadway history can be quite fascinating you should look at the different aspects of producing a show. This will illustrate just how well a place like Broadway has the capability of keeping audiences coming.

One of the facts that you will find in the Broadway history files is the fact that Broadway has been around to help people understand and get involved in various national crisis issues. While the media dominates the mainstream of today’s entertainment there is still a place for Broadway entertainment. The many wonderful plays and musical shows that you will see are a testament to the popularity of Broadway.

One tiny note which should be mentioned is that despite its popularity Broadway has never been able to regain the popularity that it enjoyed in the 1920s. Even so you can still see many great plays which have been produced by a number of talented people. These people are ones like Oscar Hammerstein, George Gershwin, Richard Rodgers, and Cole Porter to name a few.

In the Broadway history you will find that besides these individuals there are many great composers, playwrights, songwriters and others who have all helped produce fantastic plays which still have the ability to captivate audiences no matter what their ages. What this small tour of Broadway history shows you is that despite the many advances in technology there is still a place for live entertainment. The best of these can be found in Broadway.

And so long as there are people who are interested in seeing quality entertainment Broadway will continue to turn out superb musical shows and great plays. The Broadway history will continue as long as people still enjoy this form of live entertainment.

    For more great info about Broadway please visit our special Broadway resource at broadway.extrafindouts.com 


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

COLE PORTER - Composer Extraordinaire

Most people know Cole Porter for 1948's Tony Award winning Broadway musical "Kiss Me Kate." Based on William Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew," this was neither Cole Porter's first or last work.

A very accomplished musician, Cole Porter was born to a wealthy pharmacist and his wife on June 9, 1891, in Peru, Indiana. Cole was the only surviving child of three. His siblings died in infancy. His mother doted on him, and she began his musical training at the early age of six with the violin. He began piano at eight, and with the help of his mother wrote his first song, "Song of the Birds," by age ten.

Coleporter.jpg
Cole Porter - Photo: Wikipedia
Even though his talent as a musician was evident at an early age, it was his father's wish for Cole to become a lawyer. Cole went on Yale and Harvard. Cole was never to become a lawyer, however, and at a dean's suggestion, he switched his major to arts and sciences.

Cole wrote his first hit song in 1916, entitled "Esmeralda." This was quickly followed with a taste of failure, however, when his first Broadway production, "See America First," based on a book by Larrason Riggs, ran for only two weeks before closing as a complete flop.

Cole then moved to Paris, France, where he lived on an allowance provided by his mother and grandmother. It was there he met and married Linda Lee Thomas, a wealthy Kentucky born divorcee. The marriage was rumored to be a business arrangement, as he was known throughout his career to have had many male lovers. Many of his hit songs were supposedly written for several of these men.
Although still writing songs, Porter sat out most of the 1920's. Reportedly, he helped with war efforts throughout Europe. He is even joined the French Foreign Legion, and his uniform can still be seen on display today.

Cole Porter reintroduced himself onto Broadway in 1928 with his musical, "Paris." The score included the hit song, "Let's Do It, Let's Fall in Love."

Continuing to work on Broadway, Porter introduced Ethel Merman in 1935 with "Jubilee," after which he included her in five more of his productions because he loved her brassy voice and wrote songs to showcase this trait. Cole then wrote several musical productions which included Fred Astaire's last stage show, "Gay Divorce," in 1932. Over these years he also worked with Bob Hope and Jimmy Durante.

In 1937, tragedy struck. Cole Porter's legs were crushed during a riding accident. While awaiting rescue, Porter wrote the song "At Long Last Love." Cole was hospitalized for two years and restricted to a wheelchair for five. Over the remainder of his life, this talented musician endured over thirty surgeries to his legs.
During the next twenty years, Cole Porter was nominated for four Oscars. In 1961, he finally won a Grammy for best soundtrack album from a motion picture for 1960's "Can-Can."


"Can-Can" was Cole Porter's last major production. He lived out the rest of his 73 years in relative seclusion, refusing even to attend events held in his honor. Cole Porter followed his wife in death. She died in 1954 from emphysema. He died on October 15, 1964 in Santa Monica, California. He was returned to Peru to be buried at Mount Hope Cemetery between his wife and his father. His mother preceded him in death from a cerebral hemorrhage in 1952. Upon his death, Cole Porter left his 350 acre estate, known as Buxton Hill, to William's College.

Remembered for his sophisticated, sometimes ribald lyrics, clever rhymes and complex forms, Porter was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970. His estate continues to bring in revenue in excess of three million dollars per year, which is dispersed among several family members.