Arts

Take A Theatrical Journey with Cole Porter

Love, Linda. The life of Mrs. Cole Porter is a one-woman musical and theatrical journey with Karen Covington-Yow playing the part of Linda and Bob Strain on the piano.

Hendersonville – Karen Covington-Yow is a one-woman tour-de-force in the musical “Love, Linda: The Life of Mrs. Cole Porter.” With great skill, she brings to the stage some of Porter’s legendary songs, such as “I Love Paris,” “What is This Thing Called Love” and “In the Still of the Night.” The legendary American composer and lyricist Cole Porter is one of the great icons of the early 20th century. The Center for Arts and Entertainment, at 125 South Main Street in downtown Hendersonville, is presenting this traveling musical to audiences for two days, Friday, May 21 at 7:00 pm and Saturday, May 22nd, at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm. The musical ran at the Hart Theater in Waynesville earlier this month and in Asheville in 2019. 

In September, Broadway shows are said to be reopening from mid-town to Lincoln Center in New York City. Here in Hendersonville, theater lovers can visit the stage sooner. The Center for Arts & Entertainment follows safety protocols and allows for seating to be spaced in small groups with sponsored tables nearby. Tickets for this masterful performance of “Love, Linda” can be purchased in a block of 1, 2, 3, or 4. It costs $44 for a floor seat and $39 for a stadium seat, but purchases must be in blocks.

“Love, Linda” tells the life story of Linda Lee Thomas, who was a driving force for her legendary husband, Cole Porter, whom she married in 1919. They lived a glamorous social life in Paris, Venice,  the French Riviera and later New York. 

The compositions in this musical presentation weave the music of Cole Porter into a complex story. Born into a wealthy family in Indiana, his mother Kate recognized her son’s talent and helped pave the way for him. While at Yale University, Porter wrote the “Yale Bulldog Song” and hundreds of others. His compositions are known for their sophistication and wit. Although Cole Porter was gay, the companionship and love of the couple lasted through their 35 years of marriage. Linda was deeply dedicated to Cole’s career, thus their marriage was said to be a close and successful one. Porter is known for his many highly successful Broadway plays, such as “Kiss Me Kate,” which is considered a masterpiece and re-established him as one of the greatest American songwriters. It opened in 1948. Others he is known for are, “Anything Goes,” “High Society,” “Can-Can” and “Silk Stockings.”  

The Center for Arts & Entertainment is an artistic hub at 125 Main Street in Hendersonville, which was once Flat Rock Playhouse’s downtown theater. The stage and seats have been updated, offering group seatings, with an Art Gallery as you enter. Photo courtesy of Dasha Morgan.
The Center for Arts & Entertainment is an artistic hub at 125 Main Street in Hendersonville, which was once Flat Rock Playhouse’s downtown theater. The stage and seats have been updated, offering group seatings, with an Art Gallery as you enter. Photo courtesy of Dasha Morgan.

Future Productions

The downtown Flat Rock Playhouse stage has been rearranged to bring a fresh face to the theater space. A variety of productions are planned. On May 15, Anthony Mikolojeski, a third-generation Polish-American psychic and natural-born medium presented An Evening with Spirit Anthony Mikolojeski. On June 5, the Hendersonville Ballet Performance will perform a matinee at 2:00 and an evening performance at 7:00 pm of Paquita Grand Pas Classique and Repertoire. This mini-performance is a fundraiser for their 2021 production of the Nutcracker. Guests should anticipate a showcase of Hendersonville ballet dancers, many of whom will perform later in The Nutcracker. This will be their first stage performance since the 2019 Nutcracker, as their spring 2020 performance was canceled due to COVID. On June 11 and 12, The Center for Arts & Entertainment will host “Bathhouse to Broadway” featuring Electra, a sought-after female illusionist performer.  On June 24 and 25, “Shirley Valentine” starring Sarah-Lee Dobbs will be shown.  Willy Russell’s Tony-winning dramedy has received many rave reviews.

Art League of Henderson County Shows Paintings at the Center

From April 22 through May 22 a delightful art exhibit is held at the Center for Arts & Entertainment. Currently, an exhibit called Fabulous Fakes is on display just before you enter the stage area. The exhibit is a take-off by local artists of well-known paintings, such as “Starry Night” by Van Gogh and “Girl with a Pearl Earring” by Vermeer. Hours are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nooon – 4:00 pm. Admission is free.

These artworks are parodied by Art League artist members that replicate the works of the masters, almost stroke for stroke, some with a hidden humorous – twist. One must look closely at the paintings to see what the artist changed from the original well-known painting. For instance, the earring in the Vermeer painting is a bucket rather than a pearl. Picasso’s “Jacqueline” is enjoying a cocktail and Renoir’s “Girl Reading” was done in pastel, not oil. All artworks are for sale—many are already sold. The gallery pieces will be sure to bring a smile to your face.

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