Theater Info for the Washington DC region

McLean Community Players Red Hot and Cole

By • Jan 21st, 2008 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of the McLean Community Players’ production of Red Hot and Cole [MP3 3:30 1.6MB].

Red Hot and Cole
McLean Community Players
Alden Theater, McLean, VA
$17, $14/Seniors and Students
Through Feb. 2nd

Laura: This is the review of Red Hot and Cole performed by the McLean Community Players in McLean, Virginia. Mike and I saw the performance on Saturday, January 19, 2008.

Mike: This is Mike. Red Hot and Cole is a review of Cole Porter’s songs. The songs were nicely done. There wasn’t much of a story line however. It was a very basic plot around Cole Porter’s life.

Laura: The singing was great. Everyone did a really nice job with that. They were miked well and could be heard above the small orchestra that was on stage. It wasn’t distracting. As far as a plot goes, there wasn’t much of one. Nobody really aged or changed, other than Porter did after his riding accident. The only way I could figure out what was when they would drop a date or an event so that I could figure out what time period we were in. It was a nice singing and dancing show, but not a lot of plot.

Mike: Red Hot and Cole is a musical written by James Bianchi, Muriel McAuley, and Randy Strawderman, with songs by Cole Porter. This mixture of biography and songs tells the fanciful life story of Cole Porter, one of the great song writing masters of the 20th Century. Red Hot and Cole traces Cole Porter’s career from his birth in Peru, Indiana to his years in Paris before, during, and after WW I, including his friendships with celebrities such as Elsa Maxwell, Ethel Merman, and Noel Coward.

Laura: The lead character Cole Porter, was played by Brent Stone. He had a really nice voice. He played the role smoothly and although he wasn’t shady, he was kind of slick I’d guess you’d say.

Mike: The rest of the ensemble handled multiple roles nicely. The performers included Barbara Carpenter, Kristen Jeppersen, Josh Doyle, and Dana Joel Gattuso. Most of the scenes took place at various parties that Cole Porter was invited to. Some of the scenes took place at Cole Porter’s house when he was with his valet Paul, played by Tim Adams.

Laura: The set design and lighting design were both well done. It was a simple set. Set Designer was Bill Brown. The Lighting Designer was Bob Zeigler. When the different parties were taking place you kind of knew where they were in the world by the projection on the back wall. When they were in Paris you had a projection of the Eiffel Tower. When Porter was called to Hollywood to make some movies you had the Hollywood Sign. When they were back in their flat in New York you had the New York skyline. It was really nice because this was a revue show, so not a lot of emphasis was placed on set, but it was not distracting.

Mike: The performance we saw was sold out. So if you are interested in seeing this show you need to get your reservation request in now. Call the Alden Theatre or check the McLean Community Players website.

Laura: Red Hot and Cole lasted a little over two and a half hours with one intermission. It is playing through Saturday February 2nd. Friday and Saturdays at 8 and a Sunday Matinee on January 27th at 2PM at the Alden Theatre in McLean, Virginia.

Mike: And now, on with the show.


  • Cole Porter: Brent Stone
  • Elsa Maxwell/Hedda Hopper: Barbara C. Carpenter
  • Ethel Merman/Sarah Murphy/Bella Sepwack: Kristen Jepperson
  • Noel Coward/Clifton Webb/George S. Kaufman/Sam Katz/Moss Hart: Josh Doyle
  • Linda Porter: Dana Joel Gattuso
  • Monty Woolley/RayGoetz: Lanny Slusher (Jan 18-27)
  • Monty Woolley/RayGoetz: Del Ward (Feb 1-2)
  • Bricktop: Jade Wheeler
  • Paul the Valet/Dancer: Tim Adams
  • Dorothy Parker/Starlet/Dancer: Kayce Allison
  • Waiter: Diana S. Chau
  • Photographer: David Pennington
  • Musicians:
    • Piano: Evan Wilkinson
    • Bass: Dave Burrelli
    • Drums: Matt Hardy


  • Co-Director: Joanna Henry
  • Co-Director/Choreographer: Stefan Sittig
  • Producer: Leah Aspell
  • Music Directors: Joe Gems and Evan Wilkinson
  • Technical Director: Bob Zeigler
  • Master Carpenter: George Farnsworth
  • Set Designer: Bill Browns
  • Props: Emily Besuden, Summer Donaldson, Terry Yates
  • Lighting Designer: Bob Zeigler
  • Sound Designer: Jerry Bonnes
  • Set Construction: Mike Scott, Dick LaPorte, George Farnsworth, Bob Zeigler
  • Set Painting: Shayne Gardner: Dinnie Whitson
  • Set Dressing: Jacquin Pierce
  • Backstage Crew: Emily Besuden, Bunny Bonnes, Summer Donaldson, Cathy Farnsworth, Wendy Granat Humphries, Shannon Montague, Mary Renschler, Sarah Tate
  • Costumes: Richard (Bat) Battistelli
  • Poster Design: Ashley Rice
  • Webmaster, Playbill: George Farnsworth
  • Head Ushers: Columba Brumby, Cathy Farnsworth, Mike Scott
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