Chances are you know Cole Porter more than you think you do. The ubiquitous musician may have sprung from humble origins in Peru, Indiana, a small town just north of Indianapolis, but by his death in 1964 he was recognized as one of the greatest composers and lyricists of the musical comedy genre, a champion of Tin Pan Alley. The Indianapolis musician had a chance to become a gifted lawyer; he graduated top of his class at the Worcester Academy and went to Yale. Thankfully for the music world and theatre, he chose to follow a different, less guaranteed path to success when he switched to Harvard’s music program. If you’re under the age of forty, you might not know his name or his legacy, but you certainly know his songs. Porter penned dozens of classic songs that are now standards of musical comedy and Broadway, including “Night and Day,” “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” and “Anything Goes,” tunes that have been covered, imitated, and broadcast in dozens of formats all across the world.
|Video of Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire performing Cole Porter’s “Night and Day;” Anything Goes: The Cole Porter Review will take place in Indianapolis October 14 and 15|
An important figure in Indianapolis history, Cole Porter has since been honored by a room in his name at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center. The Cole Porter Room is decorated as an imitation Waldorf Astoria Hotel, where Cole Porter lived from 1944 until his death. The room also features photographs from his life and career, a digital grand player piano, and a Cole Porter impersonator playing classic Porter tunes. It’s a beautiful tribute to one of the most important Indianapolis people in the world of music, a man who contributed a great deal to both the stage and the Indianapolis music world.
But a better tribute to the musical master of stage and screen is the semi-annual Indianapolis event that takes place at the Indiana History Center once every few months. To immerse yourself in the life, music, and world of the legendary composer, Indy residents need only to go to the Indiana History Center on Ohio Street on October 14 and 15 to take part in Anything Goes: The Cole Porter Review. Though the event doesn’t take place in the vaunted Cole Porter Room, it is a fitting tribute to the man who made the stage fun again.
On those two nights in October, guests of Anything Goes: The Cole Porter Review in Eli Lilly Hall will be transported back in time to a 1940’s era nightclub, complete with cocktails, elegant servers, glitzy decor, and, of course, the show tunes of Cole Porter himself. A sumptuous dinner will be provided for guests, comparable to any nearby Indianapolis restaurant in downtown Indianapolis; only the best in class for Cole Porter and his fans. Costumed characters and decked out waiters and waitresses will be present to lend an air of authenticity to the event. You’ll be convinced you’ve stepped right into the golden days of Porter and friends.
Music was the most important part of Cole Porter’s life: so too should it be an important part of any memorial enacted in his honor. Anything Goes: The Cole Porter Review doesn’t fall short in that area either: a five piece Indianapolis band will be on hand to perform classic Cole Porter standards with a modern flair. Some Porter tunes are designed to tug at the heartstrings (and do so very well), but others were written to get your toes tapping. It wouldn’t be right to close off the dance floor at a Cole Porter performance, so the organizers of Anything Goes: The Cole Porter Review encourage participants to get on their feet and get moving, just like Cole would have wanted.
|Video of the jukebox in the Cole Porter Room at the Indiana History Center playing “Anything Goes;” Anything Goes: The Cole Porter Review will take place in Indianapolis October 14 and 15|
If you’re intrigued by the music, dancing, and decor at Anything Goes: The Cole Porter Review, you’ll probably want to know more about the man himself. Luckily, Anything Goes: The Cole Porter Review has provided for that possibility as well. There will be a display of Indianapolis performing arts at Anything Goes; a cabaret show (similar to performances put on by the American Cabaret Theatre or the White Rabbit Cabaret) about Cole Porter’s life and music will be going on later on in the evening. The show will be put on by the Actors’ Theatre of Indiana, so you can be sure it’ll be a top notch spectacle.
If you’re interested at all in the life and times of one of the most famous composers in Indiana and Indianapolis history, you should attend Anything Goes: The Cole Porter Review at the Indiana History Center. The latest iteration of the Indianapolis event will be taking place over two days next weekend, October 14 and 15. The October 14 show begins at 6:00 and goes until 10:00; the event the next day begins at 7:00 and ends at 11:00. Tickets are only available in advance, to be sure to buy some for you and your family before they’re all gone. Tickets are $75 for non-members, and just $60 for members of the Indiana Historical Society; that’s a great deal for food, drink, a cabaret show, and inimitable music of Cole Porter.
Anything Goes: The Cole Porter Review
Thursday, October 14 at 6:00 p.m. and Friday, October 15 at 7:00 p.m.
Tickets: $75/non-members, $60/IHS Members
Indiana History Center
450 W Ohio St
Indianapolis, IN 46204