‘Misbehave!’ offers style, substance of Cole Porter
By Annie Alleman For Sun-Times Media August 29, 2013 10:04AM
Blake Reddick and Khaki Pixley star in “Let’s Misbehave!” | Photo by Kimberly G. Morris
♦ Through Oct. 20
♦ Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 E. Main St., St. Charles
♦ Tickets, $32-$42
♦ (630) 584-6342
Updated: September 3, 2013 11:57AM
What happens when two madcap gals living in 1930s New York fall for the same fella? A Cole Porter musical mash-up, naturally.
Fox Valley Repertory presents “Let’s Misbehave!,” showing at the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles through Oct. 20. Show times are at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Additional performances are at 8 p.m. Sept., 5, 12 and 26 and at 2 p.m. Oct. 17.
It is directed and choreographed by Fox Valley Rep veteran and multi-Jeff award-winning director and choreographer Kevin Bellie, with music direction by Ken Jones.
The premise is simple — three single friends make a pact to find true love, and everything is all fun and games until the two women, Alice and Dorothy, realize they both have eyes for the same man.
The song-and-dance revue showcases more than 30 classic Cole Porter songs, such as “Anything Goes” and “Kiss Me Kate,” and includes selections from the musicals “Fifty Million Frenchmen” and “Gay Divorce.”
This musical is right in Bellie’s wheelhouse, as he has been involved with several Porter plays in the past.
“It’s nice to get a chance to work on a lot of music all at once, which is really interesting and fun,” he said. “He represents the ideal of an American composer. It’s been a really enjoyable process. Plus, I really enjoy this era — the 1930s.”
As the revue is set in New York, the sets are very stylish, with a very art-deco vibe about it, he said.
“It’s very slick and sparkly and polished,” he said. “In addition to all of that great stuff, you have a plot that really does tickle your funny bone and touch your heart. That’s really all you can ask for when you’re directing. All the pieces are coming together nicely.”
His cast is handling the play with aplomb, he said.
“The interesting thing about Cole Porter’s music is that it’s really deceptively simple-sounding. To the audience’s ears, some of the melodies sound simple, but really they are very difficult. In addition, he had a great knack for making things sound conversational. But the cast is up for the challenge and they’re enjoying it quite a bit.
“As much as I love shows that have lots of plot, I’m just as much a big fan of just being entertained,” he said. “There’s something to be said for that. And especially when it touches the heart a little bit, that’s always really nice. This is absolutely one of those shows.”
Additionally, this show celebrates one of the greatest composers of all time, he said.
“Seeing this great American composer really celebrated is an absolute joy,” he said. “And it’s to sit back and relax and enjoy a night of great theater and this will absolutely do that for folks.”
The cast of “Let’s Misbehave!” includes Khaki Pixley, Blake Reddick and Heather Townsend, with pianist Ryan Brewster.