Editor Emma Clarendon spoke to the singer about how her love of Cole Porter’s music has inspired her latest show ‘You’re the Top’ at The Pheasantry tonight.
Hi KT, thanks for talking to Love London Love Culture. What can audiences expect from ‘You’re the Top’? Audiences at The Pheasantry can expect some of the great standards as well as surprising Porter gems. My Show is called “You’re the Top”, because Cole Porter is for me the top of the food chain when it comes to composers of popular standards. I’ll be doing my favorites, and there are many.
What is it about Cole Porter’s Music that you love? I adore singing Cole Porter, because not only are his melodies rich and seductive but his words are sophisticated and sometimes naughty. I also love the beauty of Jerome Kern’s and Harold Arlen’s music, but they didn’t also write lyrics.
Have you got any favourite songs that you particularly love to sing in the show? My favourite Cole Porter show is Kiss Me, kate , and I’ll be doing some of his classics from that show, like “Always True to You”, “So In Love”, “Wunderbar”, and “Brush Up Your Shakespeare”.
Are there any other composers whose work you admire? The only songwriters who I think can compare to Cole Porter’s brilliance is Irving Berlin and Noēl Coward.
What do you love most about performing in London? English audiences are so literate and I’m looking forward to how they respond to Cole Porter’s sophistication and care with the craft of lyric writing. I’ve always loved playing to London audiences and I think, frankly, it’s because they have always loved me. I was introduced to London almost 20 years ago when I did a show with Steve Ross at Pizza on the Park and that began an affair with the city and its appreciative audiences.
Have you a favourite venue that you have performed in? My favourite “venue” was a train ( 3rd class ) from Zurich to Como 33 years ago on my way to an outdoor concert in Bellagio. I was traveling with my opera coach Carlo Faria, from NYC, and I started singing arias and Italian songs for the passengers who were Italian workers in Switzerland on their way home to Southern Italy for the long Ferragusta ( The Ascent of the Virgin) week-end. Soon our train car was filled with people from other cars, all joyfully cheering me on through The Alps as I got through what must have been all of my Italian repertoire. Upon arriving Como, and picking up my bags on the platform, the train pulled out from the station and several cars of passengers were hanging out their windows, yelling “Brava Diva!”
By Emma Clarendon
KT Sullivan will perform her show ‘You’re the Top’ at The Pheasantry in Chelsea tonight. For more information visit: https://www.pizzaexpresslive.com/whats-on/kt-sullivan-youre-the-top.