'Cole' opens this weekend at theater

DOWNEY - "Birds do it, bees do it, even educated fleas do it, let's do it, let's fall in love."Who can listen to that Cole Porter song without cracking a smile? Theater people, pop singers, rock and jazz divas, Woody Allen's 2011 "Midnight in Paris," even a famous Brazilian (Chico Buarque) have done it; that is, performed the infectious "Let's Do It." Now it's the Downey Civic Light Opera's turn, in "Cole," a retrospective look at the life and work of one of the greatest musical theater songwriters in American history. Some would argue that he was the greatest, and not only because he lived up to the immortal showbiz maxim, "Always keep 'em coming back for more." Porter was the embodiment of F. Scott Fitzgerald's famous line, "The rich are different from you and me." That is, he understood that living well is the best revenge, as is going in style. The lavish soirees in the south of France, New York and Hollywood. His success at depicting the upper class, whether true or not, as having class. But behind the facade of party cheer was a man who worked hard to make it look easy, and who for the better part of 30 years endured unimaginable pain from a horse riding accident that crushed his legs. What's cherished most is not the sophisticated era he lived in, but his songs that have outlived it, such as, "I Concentrate on You," "Night and Day," "From This Moment On," "You're the Top," and many others. With consummate artistry, Porter wrote of the permutations of life, its joy and heartache, its desolation and fulfillment, and most of all, its hard-earned wisdom. "Let's Do It" was written in 1928 and hasn't dated. In the DCLO's musical retrospective, it should be clear that Porter's music hasn't either. The Downey Theatre is located at 8435 E. Firestone Blvd., in Downey. For tickets, call (562) 923-1714. Performances run Feb. 16 through March 4.

********** Published: February 16, 2012 - Volume 10 - Issue 44