Have you heard? Bethesda Little Theatre (BLT) is putting on A Swellegant, Elegant Party June 22, 23, 24, 29, 30 and July 1 at the Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center – and it’s one you won’t want to miss (even if next July we do “collide with Mars”).
The madcap lyrics of Cole Porter’s classic comic number “Well, Did You Evah,” memorably performed by Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby in the 1956 classic movie High Society, give the show both its title and its theme. Director Laura Holmes has created a party plotline on stage that helps stitch together a wide variety of songs from different shows and different eras, each artfully shading unique aspects of that most necessary and dreaded social function – the party.
“Laura has done a great job of keeping us moving in-between numbers and mingling with different people throughout the party,” says cast member Marissa Papatola. “She’s also created some really neat little story lines among different people that leave the audience wanting more.”
Holmes and music director Jeff Hayes have tweaked some numbers – making Sinatra and Crosby’s High Society duet into a male-female quartet, for example – and even connoisseurs of the originals are likely to find the BLT versions irresistible.
“I think the number works for us with four people,” says cast member Martin Bestimt. “If I had Bing and Frank in the cast, I might let them perform it by themselves. But probably not.”
Other highlights include hits – and hidden gems – from La La Land (“Someone in the Crowd”), Smash (“Let’s Be Bad”), First Date (“Awkward Pause,” “I’d Order Love”), Chess (“I Know Him So Well”), Sweet Charity (“If My Friends Could See Me Now”), and Something Rotten (“A Musical”).
Throw in a dash of Irving Berlin, Lesley Gore, Stephen Sondheim, and a spritz more Sinatra, and this swell cocktail of a show will have even the shyest of wallflowers tapping their toes and wanting to join the fun. You’re invited!
The Bethesda Little Theater presents A Swellegant, Elegant Party at the Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center. For tickets and more information call 202-796-3431, email email@example.com, or go to the website.
Fri-Sat, June 22-23 at 8 p.m.
Sunday June 24 at 2.30 p.m.
Friday-Saturday June 29-30 at 8 p.m.
Sunday July 1 at 2.30 p.m.
Ticket prices: Adults: $22; Students/Seniors: $18; Children 12 and under: $12