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Rinaldi by D. Robitaille and J. Valdez

Cole and Porter by D. Robitaille and J. Valdez


Cole and Porter is an edgey musical set in 1940.

Amanda Porter is the wife of the stuffy, well-bred aristocratic and arrogant white mayor of Boston.  When he leaves the mansion, Amanda secretly goes to the piano and “gets down” with the innovative jazz of the day.   Across town lives Bessie Cole, a young black girl with a gift for writing lyrics and an unshakable dream of touching the world.   As fate would have it, our two women meet and discover that Amanda’s glorious jazzy music and Bessie’s soulful lyrics are a match made in Heaven.  They form a team: Cole and Porter.  They realize, of course, that the World of 1940, with its prejudice about color and social structure would never open its doors to these two women.  Bessie isn’t even welcome  in the mayor’s house except as a maid.  Solution:  Amanda “hires” Bessie to be her maid and  when Bessie comes to “work,” the two women sneak off and write songs.  Sure enough, they write incredible songs.   Knowing they’d get laughed out of Tin Pan Alley, the powerful money-grubbing publishing "cartel" of the day, our protagonists devise a plan: Find two white men who, for a fee, are willing to pretend to be Cole and Porter, and take the songs to New York.  Enter George and Bernie, two small-time con men, who jump at the chance to make easy money.  Now the fun begins.  The songs become instant hits, and we are taken on a roller coaster ride which includes hilarious moments, bittersweet moments, grave injustices, angry betrayals, outrageous antics, teary-eyed reunions, and finally, the triumph of the human spirit!