Sonya Ledanski sings the lesser known Cole Porter in 'Tales of Scampi and Other Pretty Things'

Do any of the following lyrics seem familiar to you?

Once there lived a nice young scampi
In a canal that was dark and damp, he
Found his home life much too wet,
And longed to travel with the supper set.
Poor little scampi...


If you wed me I know you'll find
I'm not one bit the mercenary kind.
But I warn you, son, before the deal is signed
That I like pretty things...


Small bookworms on shelves fall,
Amoebas, even for themselves fall,
From the early worms to the latest germs,
They all fall in love.

Sure, is visited by showtune fans and theatre professionals who hum these melodies every day, but others may not know that these fairly obscure songs were penned by the remarkably clever Cole Porter.

On June 2, 4 and 8, vocalist Sonya Ledanski celebrates the Porter we don't hear often enough in TALES OF SCAMPI AND OTHER PRETTY THINGS, the Lesser Known Cole Porter. She'll be joined on stage by musical director Sheldon Forrest, with whom Ledanski teamed up in earlier New York cabaret shows honoring Nina Simone and Peggy Lee. Stage direction is provided by's own Michael Dale, a/k/a dry2olives.

Although Cole Porter has contributed numerous standards to the American Songbook, many of his lesser known songs contain all the wit and infectious melody of his most beloved classics.

Photo by Dawn Schurmitus

Along with "The Scampi" (which was the original lyric to the popular "The Tale of the Oyster"), "I Like Pretty Things" and "They All Fall in Love" (a hilarious list song in the "Let's Do It" tradition), the evening will feature beautiful ballads such as "You Don't Know Paree" and "When The Summer Moon Comes 'Long" (the earliest surviving Cole Porter song) and the sassy title song from "Red, Hot and Blue". And if you think you know popular hits like "Anything Goes" and "You're the Top", you may be surprised by some of the rarely-heard lyrics he wrote for encores and reprises.

TALES OF SCAMPI AND OTHER PRETTY THINGS plays 9:30 performances on June 2, 4 and 8 at Mama Rose's, 219 2nd Avenue, NYC (between 13th 14th Streets). $15 cover charge + 2 drink minimum. ($10 cover for MAC and Cabaret Hotline Members) Reservations: 212-533-0558

Black & White photo by Peter Hyde

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