Cole Porter centennial celebration to feature music, master classes, and more

The life and work of Cole Porter ’13 (1891–1964) — recognized as one of the greatest composers and lyricists for Broadway and Hollywood during the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, and one of Yale’s most notable musical alumni — will be celebrated in a weekend of events Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 17-19.

The Cole Porter Centennial Weekend kicks off with “Just One of Those Things: Some Music by Cole Porter,” a cabaret developed by Yale student Henry Gottfried ’14 for his senior project in theater studies. The solo production uses selections from the Porter catalogue to explore an undergraduate love life (or lack thereof) in 2013. The cabaret will be staged at Calhoun Cabaret, Calhoun College, 189 Elm St. Performances will take place on Thursday at 8 p.m.; Friday at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.; and Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. The event is free, but reservations are required.

Gilmore Library exhibit

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Cole Porter’s graduation from Yale, the Gilmore Music Library is presenting an exhibition drawn from its extensive Cole Porter Collection. Opening on Thursday, “From Peru to Paree: A Cole Porter Jubilee” will feature photographs, letters, scrapbooks, and music manuscripts illustrating the life and work of the celebrated composer and lyricist. A touch-screen computer table will offer film clips and recordings of Porter’s songs. The exhibit will be on display through Jan. 31, in the Memorabilia Rm. of Sterling Memorial Library, 120 High St. which is open to the public Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. James Hepokoski, chair of the Department of Music at Yale, will give an opening lecture titled “Images of Cole Porter: The Man, the Voice” at 3 p.m. on Friday in the International Rm. of Sterling Memorial Library. Both the exhibit and the talk are free and open to the public.

Master classes

Scott Frankel ’85, Tony-nominated composer (“Grey Gardens,” and “Far From Heaven”), and Richard Maltby Jr. ’59, noted wordsmith (“Closer than Ever,” “Baby,” and “Big”), and Tony Award-winning director (“Ain’t Misbehavin’”) will lead a Cole Porter Performance Master Class. The master class will take place 5-7 p.m. on Friday in the Theater Studies Ballroom, 220 York St.

Jeffrey Klitz ’81, Broadway arranger, music director, pianist, and coach, will discuss how classic tunes come to life in great arrangements in a master class titled “Dressing a Great Tune: Arranging Cole Porter Tunes, and Other Classic Songs” 2 p.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, also in the Theater Studies Ballroom. Klitz will combine an introduction to arranging with live performances featuring soloists, Red Hot and Blue (Yale’s oldest co-ed singing group), and the Whiffenpoofs of 1975.

Sponsored by the Shen Curriculum for Musical Theater, the master classes are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Dan Egan at

Lectures and more

On Saturday, two lectures will explore Porter’s wide range of work. The first, titled “Cole Porter on Broadway,” will take place at 10 a.m. and will feature Robert Kimball ’61, ’67 J.D., author of “Cole,” and editor of “The Complete Lyrics of Cole Porter.” At 11:15 a.m. Michael Malone, professor of the practice of theater studies at Duke University will discuss “Cole Porter in Hollywood.” Both lectures will take place in Jonathan Edwards College Theater, 68 High St. The talks are free and open to the public.

The Cole Porter Centennial at Yale ends with a swing dance featuring the Bales-Gitlin Band. The dance will take place 8-11 p.m. at the Quinnipiac Club, 221 Church St. Jay Gitlin, lecturer in history at Yale, and vocalist Ginny Bales will perform jazz of the 1920s and 1930s as well as big band swing from the 1940s. Visit the website for ticket prices and reservations.  Tickets are also available at the door.

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