All the ingredients are there in “Love, Linda – the life of Mrs. Cole Porter” by jazz vocalist Stevie Holland and Gary William Friedman which is enjoying a four week run at the Triad Theater through November 21st.
The songs of Cole Porter, an intimate setting, the requisite martini glass, an interesting concept and a wonderful back up combo of drums (Jeff Davis) bass (Peter Brendler) and piano (Landon Knoblock) supporting the perfectly engaging vocals of Ms. Holland.
However, the songs of Cole Porter should be slowly savored like a chilled (stirred not shaken) slowly sipped martini with a twist – the twist being supplied by the witty and fun and sometimes double entendre lyrics that accompany Cole Porter’s memorable melodies. In this one woman, one hour, one sided biographical musical we get a rapid, superficial, speed dial version of their 35 years together – despite his being homosexual.
As long as he was discreet she would accept his dalliances. But when he fell in love with a Russian dancer that was too much. Even so, we gaily skip on to the next chapter (song) in their hectic, café society and star filled lives. “Let’s Do It”, “In The Still Of The Night”, “You Do Something to Me” and “Let’s Be Buddies” – which takes on a whole new meaning here.
From their first meeting in Paris, their marriage, coming to New York, Broadway, shows, Hollywood musicals, her illness, his crippling accident – all this in one hour and a two drink minimum that has the staff of the Triad on their toes to fill orders so that they can unfortunately distribute the checks during her finale most moving number – “When A Woman’s In Love”.
Stevie Holland does quite nicely with her jazz infused arrangements by Mr. Friedman in this cabaret show directed by Ben West. We are teased by these truncated versions of some of the most wonderful songs ever written – the songs that apply to their supposed happy life together – and long for some full length renditions not a crash course in Cole and Linda 101.
You almost want to shout out (to paraphrase Simon and Garfunkel), “Slow down, you move too fast, you got to make the moments last.”
At $35.00 a head plus a two not inexpensive drink minimum plus an 18% gratuity included “Love, Linda – the Life of Mrs. Cole Porter” is a costly hours worth of entertainment. Through November 21st.