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Photo Flash: Rider University Razzles and Dazzles with COLE, 11/14-18
By Chrissy Hartzell
Go back to a time where "the morals were looser, shows were broader, and the liquor was cheaper" as the Westminster College of the Arts of Rider University proudly presents 'Cole' running November 14-18 in the Yvonne Theatre on Rider's campus in Lawrenceville, N.J.
Originally premiered at the Mermaid Theatre in London with a book by Benny Green and Alan Strachan, 'Cole' is a musical revue of the legendary composer and songwriter Cole Porter who stretched his career far and wide, from Paris, to Hollywood, and ultimately to Broadway. In the revue, Porter's life experiences are told chronologically, giving the audience a hefty load of Porter biography. His early days at Yale are romanticized with a handsome quartet of men. His romantic days at Paris are immortalized with "I Love Paris". And his famous days at Broadway are glamorized with the classic "Anything Goes." Also shown are his days in Hollywood, his nights in Spain, and his apparent obsession with this "Thing Called Love".
With a dash of tap, a pinch of jazz, and a whole lotta glitz, 'Cole' doesn't hesitate to immediately dazzle its audience. The style of classical musical theatre is well established, and with polished dances by Chip Klose and the musical direction of Wendy Feaver, "Cole" goes beyond revue. It travels to infinity and beyond and back to the glamorous days of the twenties, thirties, and forties.
Director Louis Goldberg, an adjunct professor at Rider University's Westminster College of the Arts making his directorial debut here at Rider, wanted to "pick a piece that was very elegant, with sophisticated music and lyrics." As both a director and fellow professor, Goldberg allowed himself to challenge his performers and students with the work of Porter.
"It's all singing, all dancing, all acting. It challenges their triple-threat skills. There are a lot of opportunities to showcase their talent in this show." Dance captain and sophomore musical theatre major Sean Cackoski talks about his experience working on 'Cole', adding,
"Each song has a personality that goes along with it. Each actor can connect to each song in a different way." As the dance captain, Sean not only learned an immense amount information about Porter, but he also learned a lot about himself. "You are responsible for all of the dancing in the entire show. It taught me to pay attention to every detail. You can't miss a beat."
The cast of Cole includes Kelliann DeCarlo, Colby Dezelick, Kevin Corkum, Colleen Roberts, Chelsea Delgado, Nick Cox, Sean Cackoski, Kailey Hewitt, Shannon Rakow, Caleb Funk, Conor Fallon, Sarah Whiteford, Rosie Webber, Marcos Kantilierakis and swings Eddie Brandt, Cody Cooley, Kiley Hinkle and Lilli Babb. The show's student choreographer is Heather Boner.
'Cole' is choreographed by Chip Klose, whose credits include working along Christopher Gattelli for Newsies, as well as choreographing numerous Off-Broadway and college productions. Cackoski suggests theatre-goers young and old to come out for a good time. "Come out, hear great music, and leave with a smile."
'Cole' runs November 14-18 with a preview performance on the 14th at 7:30 p.m. followed by performances at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday the 15th and Friday the 16th, with additional performances on Saturday, November 17 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., as well as Sunday, November 18 at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. Tickets can be purchased at the door, by calling 609-896-7775, or by purchasing online at www.rider.edu/arts.
For a complete list of Rider's 2012-2013 season and information on the program, visit www.rider.edu/wca.
Photo Credit: Cie Stroud
Colby Dezelick and Colleen Roberts
Colby Dezelick and Sean Cackoski
Colby Dezelick, Colleen Roberts, and Kevin Corkum