Archikulture Digest

A Marvelous Party – The Noel Coward Celebration

A Marvelous Party – The Noel Coward Celebration

Words and Music by Noel Coward

Devised by David Ira Goldstein, Mark Anders and Patricia Wilcox

Directed by Steven Flaa

Musical Direction by Chris Leavy

Winter Park Playhouse

Winter Park, FL</strong>

If this show were anymore British, we’d park on the wrong side of the street and drink warm beer. Noel Coward was a true polymath of the entertainment world; he wrote, sang, composed, acted and for all I know painted floors. Tonight we take a look back at his wonder filled career; each line of dialog and every song on this stage comes directly from his pen. And the songs have such quaint titles: “London is a Bit of All Right,” “Mad Dogs and Englishmen,” and my favorite: “What Ho! Mrs. Brisket.” Try saying that last one with different words emphasized – its fun!

Coward operated in the middle of the 20th century; his material spans the Big War and all its travails but captures and informs of our strongest impressions of the stiff upper lip class. There’s a sad, gloomy ballad “Matelot” sung by the elegant new comer Larry Alexander, Roy Alan soft shoes his way around stage pinnacling “If Love Were All” and Laura Hodos has thrown off her recent political efforts to give us the extended show girl number “The Coconut Girl.” When she’s not forging nations, she’s a great dance hall floozie. Later we tour “The Stately Homes of England,” then we lament “Why Do the Wrong People Travel?” and try to whistle our way past “Bad Times Are Just Around the Corner.” Things may be gloomy and cold out on Orange Avenue, but inside we can experience an evening of tweed, good pipe tobacco and flappers, all for one small admission.

For more information on Winter Park Playhouse, please visit http://www.winterparkplayhouse.org


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