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Oklahoma City Philharmonic offers delightful tribute to Cole Porter

The Oklahoma City Philharmonic's “Cole Porter Songbook” a fitting tribute to one of Broadway's most talented songwriters.
Modified: February 25, 2013 at 3:03 pm •  Published: February 26, 2013

A masterful comedienne, Leavel toyed seductively with a quartet of male singers in “My Heart Belongs to Daddy” and then proved her ability to whip both a musical number and the audience into a frenzy with the revivalistic anthem “Blow, Gabriel, Blow.”

Leavel and Keegan's efforts were further enhanced by marvelous contributions from Joel Levine and the orchestra, most notably through some spectacular charts by such accomplished arrangers as Jack Everly, Fred Barton and Larry Blank, the latter also providing the attractive and lively “A Cole Porter Festival Overture.”

Ben Williams found an abundance of sly humor in “Thank You So Much, Mrs. Lowsborough-Goodby,” a number in which a guest recounts what he'd really like to have said in a letter of thanks for a miserable weekend party he attended.

Ballroom dancers Savannah Hawkins and Dan Horn added dazzling visual appeal to Keegan's attractive rendering of “Begin the Beguine.” The Philharmonic Pops Chorale and a dance quartet known as The Time-Steppers were equally impressive with their respective talents.

There's a lyric from “Can-Can” in which Porter spoke of “the wrong song in the wrong style.”

As evidenced by the orchestra's musically satisfying “Cole Porter Songbook,” that was never an issue Porter had to worry about. His music was “Oh, so easy to love.”

— Rick Rogers


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