By Harry Haun
12 Dec 2013
Photo by Carol Rosegg
Quick! Somebody cue Porter's haunting "What Is This Thing Called Love?"
That song comes up early, of course. Throughout the show, biographical bits are sprinkled between and, frequently, into numbers, giving them a new meaning in the context of the story being told. "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" is introduced late into the proceedings when the Porters appear bound for the divorce court, but, in the middle of it, Porter suffers a horse accident that left him crippled the rest of his life; his wife rushes to his side, never again to leave. She starts the song promiscuous, giddy with new freedom, making "a play for the caddy," and ends up Mother Teresa.
Quite a few Porter evergreens are on display, but there is also quite a few non-mainstream numbers. "'Ours' was new to me," confessed Friedman. "It's become one of our all-time favorites," seconded Holland. "And is that ever an ear worm!" added Maltby. "Oh, boy, I spent a week trying to get rid of that song. Even now, I can't.
That is "When a Woman's in Love," used instrumentally at the start of the show and sung at the end. "It was never in a show," noted Holland. "It was a trunk poem that he later set it to music. I like to think in my heart that he really wrote it for her."
People have come up to Friedman after the show, wagging their finger at him and accusing him of writing that song. "Do you know what it took to admit I didn't?"Continued...