Styles and expectations have changed since 1920, yet Porter's song-stories resonate with our desires to love and be loved, dream and have opportunities to realize dreams. The delight is in experiencing the interpretive range between act one and two, with "Ol' King Cole" - jaunty, sunny, with luxurious choreography paired with fluffy sultry-hued costumes and lighting - followed by "Cole Soul," which features grittier elbow jutting, muscular, hurried contemporary configurations and angular stripped body suits.
Particularly notable is the dual take on "You're The Top"; a world of social change separates recordings by Jeanne Aubert & Jack Whiting (featured in Act I) and Louis Armstrong (Act II). Noteworthy throughout are the rousing company production numbers contrasted with introspective pairings and solo interpretations. Witnessing Brandon Comer's growth in physicality and emotional strength is part of the fun.
Even though Act II was excerpted from the full program, attending a Thursday matinee was delightful because the unbridled enthusiasm of a mostly youthful audience is infectious. They "get it" and show appreciation. Thankfully no one shushes them.
Come early to see an informative exhibit and hear singers from the Actors Theatre of Indiana serenade in the lobby. June 9 marks the Indiana-born Porter's 112th birthday. Through June 10 at Indiana Repertory Theatre