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Cole Porter

Of course, Cole Porter was written out by 1948. Critics said he'd been written out ever since 1932 when he wrote the songs for Gay Divorce, "Night & Day" among them. Writing for songs for movie musicals didn't help and his string of less-than-stellar stage success didn't help either. The last one -- Around the World (1946) -- had had Orson Wells as producer, director, and star and had closed after 75 performances, and Porter was generally considered washed up. Then he wrote the songs for Kiss Me, Kate and, suddenly, Porter was no longer washed up or written out, but rather at the top of his game. The show ran for 1,075 performances on Broadway and Porter's score was obviously so important to its success that it was issued nearly complete on the first Broadway original cast album rush recorded two weeks after the show opened. In a score full of masterpieces -- "Too Darn Hot," "Brush Up Your Shakespeare," "Wunderbar," "Why Can't You Behave," and so on and so on -- "So in Love" still stands out. Porter's lyrics are sophisticated both aesthetically and emotionally; he not only writes for an educated public, but for a public that understands (or at least tries to understand) the human heart. And Porter's music is typically exciting in its minor-keyed refrain and both ecstatic and wistful in its major-keyed but chromatic chorus. Sung first by the female lead in Act I and then the male lead in Act II, the song reveals both to the audience and the characters themselves how they really feel about each other, something that could only happen in a Porter musical.