Feb 18 - Mar 7, 2009
Music & Lyrics by COLE PORTER
Book by George S. Kaufman, Leueen
MacGrath and Abe Burrows
JOE CASCONE
SHEILA LACASSE
Lighting by
Costumes
Production Stage Manager
CAST

KEVIN MALCOLM
LARRY GIBBS
ANDREW BYRNE
PETER LOUCAS
JACK LY
SUSAN SANDERS
ERIC BOTOSAN
Janice Dayton
Peter Illyitch Boroff
Bibinski
Brankov
Ivanov
Pierre, the bellhop
Suzette/Sabina/Sheri/Sonia
Commissar Markovitch

Porter’s final musical, Silk Stockings.
This musical version of the classic Greta Garbo film comedy
Ninotchka premiered on Broadway 54 years ago this
week following a torturous pre-Broadway road tour. The script had been hastily patched together and it showed.

Cascone has skillfully smoothed over the rough spots, trimming the show to a tight two hours, and replacing the
lugubrious (not to mention sexist) “Without Love” with the better-known and far more effective “I Love Paris.”

The musical is set in the Paris of 1955 and tells of an American agent who engineers a deal to use the music of
Russian composer Peter Boroff in a film adaptation of
War and Peace. Russia sends three commissars to retrieve
the composer, and when the Parisian lifestyle seduces them, the Kremlin sends its top gun, Comrade Nina
Yoschenko.

David Haines plays the brash American agent Steven Canfield. Whether romancing the stern Ninotchka or trading
barbs with the waterlogged movie actress Janice Dayton, he is full of cocky self-confidence that never crosses the
line to smugness.

As the object of his affection,
Stephanie Douglas ignites sparks with her portrayal of the strict Russian envoy who
eventually succumbs to Canfield’s charms. Her sudden appearance in a stunning red gown, designed by Sheila
Lacasse, drew appreciative gasps from the audience.

Sass is provided courtesy of
Ashley Gibson’s performance as Janice Dayton, the former swimming star who
wants the lead in
War and Peace, even though she doesn’t know who Tolstoy is. The travesty she makes out of
Boroff’s “Ode to a tractor” reduces
Kevin Malcolm, who plays Boroff, to gasping spasms of horror.

The original production had a cast of 50. This version has been streamlined for a cast of 10, which affords
Susan
Sanders a series of amusing cameos including a hotel maid, a news reporter and a dress designer. She also plays
the girlfriend of Markovitch, the Soviet Commissar of Art and Culture, played by
Eric Botosan. Jack Ly rounds out
the cast as the efficient room steward, Pierre.

Cole Porter has provided an enjoyable collection of songs, and while
Silk Stockings is not an all-time Broadway
classic, it is light entertainment, and that is really all that a successful Broadway musical of the 1950s had to be.