Eighty-six years after it was written, a Cole Porter musical revue is set to make its American debut with an all-star cast of Broadway talent.
"The Ambassador Revue," which hits New York's Town Hall June 27, features many elements that went on to become synonymous with Porter's work -- including soaring ballads, saucy showgirls and lyrics laden with double entendres. The Manhattan premiere, which features musical arrangements by Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks and is directed by theater historian Ken Bloom, will mark the first time the show has ever been performed in America.
The revue takes its name from Paris's Ambassadeurs nightclub, where it was first performed for a short run in 1928 but quickly disappeared shortly thereafter. At the time, none of the sheet music was made available in America, while Porter went on to become the prolific composer of iconic musicals like "Anything Goes" and "Kiss Me, Kate."
"For me, this is like finding a new Picasso or a new Rembrandt," Giordano said. "I wish I would've found this 20 years ago … this is just one of those things where the planets came together in a specific moment. We're just so thrilled."
The Huffington Post spoke to Giordano, as well as participating performers Tom Wopat, Anita Gillette and Amy Burton, who shared their thoughts on Porter and the show ahead of its June 27 performance.
Tom Wopat: This stuff pre-dates most of Cole Porter's big work, so it's kind of seminal. It shows the roots of what he later developed. But there are a lot of Porter-isms in this music and it's a lot of fun to perform. It'll be a revelation to people.
Vince Giordano: People ask me, 'Is this music like other Cole Porter music?' But that's the one thing about Cole Porter…he never repeated himself. He always went out on a limb and tried to come up with something new and fresh. That's an amazing accomplishment.
Amy Burton: This is just such a dream, if you're a singer, an actor or a singing actor. I couldn't believe there were so many Cole Porter songs that nobody knew, and they're charming! Some of them are charming, some of them are racy, some of them are lyrical ... sex never goes out of style! (laughs)
Anita Gillette: He writes about the human condition, whether it's love, loss, war … he writes all about these main themes. Apparently, in 1928, he was out of work, and he was really glad to get this job. Imagine Cole Porter in that [situation] today! Musically, I think you can see the beginnings of some of his real masterpieces.
Cole Porter's "The Ambassador Revue" plays New York's Town Hall on June 27. For more information, head here.
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