June 3, 2013

Annual Cole Porter Festival returns this weekend

Four-day fest offers music, food & theater.

PERU — There’s a face plastered on every light pole in downtown Peru — the face of legendary song writer Cole Porter.

And that can mean only one thing: The Cole Porter Festival is just around the corner.

The 22nd annual festival celebrating the life and music of Peru’s hometown hero kicks off Thursday and runs through Sunday, offering music, food, theater and a chance to see some of Porter’s childhood stomping grounds.

Porter was born in Peru in 1891, and went on to write more than 1,500 songs like “I Get A Kick Out of You” and “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” that have become part of the American musical landscape.

“Cole Porter is such a huge name in Peru’s history,” said Elise Kordis, director of the Miami County Museum. “This is a Cole Porter town, and the festival really makes it come alive. We really appreciate the opportunity to celebrate his heritage.”

That celebration gets going Thursday evening with the premiere of “Cole Porter in Space,” an original stage production from Ole Olsen Memorial Theater.

Kordis said the play puts a unique, outer-space spin on some of Porter’s most popular tunes.

“Don’t miss out on the fun as we follow up on previous journeys with Cole with the ultimate trip … To outer space,” reads a blurb on the festival’s website.

“It looks fantastic,” Kordis said. “It’s very different. It’s taking Cole Porter to new places.”

The play begins at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Peru Depot, 154 S. Broadway. Tickets cost $32, and include a dinner catered by the Peru Civic Center.

On Friday, visitors can head to the Peru Community Schools Art Gallery from 1 to 5 p.m. to check out paintings from artists like Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso, as part of the art collection donated by Peru native G. David Thompson.

Afterwards, head to Day and Night restaurant to listen to the band Choral Reef from 9 to 11:30 p.m.

The festival really gets going on Saturday, when more than a dozen bands will jam out from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. inside the Miami County Museum, and outside on Fifth Street starting at noon.

The Indianapolis Jazz Orchestra will headline the festival, performing an all-Cole Porter concert at 7 p.m. inside the Peru High School Auditorium. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.

“These guys are a pretty big name and really great performers,” Kordis said. “It’s going to be a great show.”

To cap the night off, a late night cabaret will be hosted at the Ulrey Annex, 56 N. Broadway, starting at 9 p.m.

Throughout the day on Saturday, check out some local art during the Miami County Community Artist Co-op from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., or catch a bus tour to Cole Porter historic sites.

Before you take the tour, get some background on Porter during one of Charles Troy’s presentations on his life and career starting at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

If you’re working up an appetite, stop by one of the food vendors set up downtown from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The festival closes on Sunday with the Cole Porter Classic Car, Truck and Bike Show from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Kordis said more than 100 cars showed up last year, filling up most of Broadway.

“Even if you don’t have a car in the show, come check this out. It’s cool,” Kordis said.

You can also buy raffle tickets for $2 for a chance to win an iPad, Kindle Fire HD or other prizes.

Kordis encouraged anyone who wants to hear some good music, watch a good play or just enjoy a day learning about Porter to head to Peru for the festival.

“All the music people hear today probably has some kind of influence from Cole Porter,” she said. “You still hear his songs in TV commercials. His music is all over. So take the opportunity to learn about a legend, and come experience some art and culture.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Jamie Kennedy live in Kokomo this weekend Actor and stand-up comedian Jamie Kennedy said he's excited for his first-ever trip to the City of Firsts — a place he has heard only one thing about. He laughed Wednesday night, saying the only thing he's heard about Kokomo is that it's home to a pl

    July 24, 2014

  • Film Review Lucy [Duplicate] [Duplicate] Review: 'Lucy' won't stretch your brain capacity So let's start with the enticing premise of Luc Besson's "Lucy," starring Scarlett Johansson: Human beings only use 10 percent of their brain capacity. Imagine what it would be like if we could access all of it? Well, wow. It would be sort of like ..

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • TV-CBS-Colbert [Duplicate] [Duplicate] CBS says Colbert keeping CBS' 'Late Show' in NYC NEW YORK (AP) — Stephen Colbert will not only be following in David Letterman's footsteps, he'll be doing it on the same stage. CBS said Wednesday that Colbert, who is replacing Letterman as the "Late Show" host next year, will keep the show in New Y

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • No romance for 'Downton Abbey' in-laws, say actors BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Michelle Dockery and Allen Leech of "Downton Abbey" say Cupid's arrow is not headed for their characters. While talking to a TV Critics' panel Tuesday, the actors said they find it "very funny" some fans are hoping for a

    July 23, 2014

  • Film Review-Magic in the Moonlight-3 [Duplicate] [Duplicate] Review: Allen casts a limp spell in 'Magic' Woody Allen's late period has been defined by a quality you wouldn't have expected from the man who produced the inspired chaos of "Bananas" or the Fellini-esque carnival of "Stardust Memories": tidiness. For years now, Allen's films have been light

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Film-Old Directors-3 [Duplicate] [Duplicate] Working late in life, directors refuse to say cut Visiting a retired Frank Capra at his Sierra Nevada hideaway, Clint Eastwood was baffled. "I always thought: 'He could be making a film right now. He's as lucid as could be. Here's the great Frank Capra not doing it,'" Eastwood recalled of the famed

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Another author boosted by 'Colbert Bump' NEW YORK (AP) — The "Colbert Bump" is becoming contagious. Edan Lepucki, whose novel "California" became a best-seller thanks to a plug from Stephen Colbert, has in turn helped another book catch on. During an interview on Comedy Central's "The Colbe

    July 22, 2014

  • Music-Shawn Mendes-3 [Duplicate] [Duplicate] Vine star Mendes finds breakthrough on pop charts NEW YORK (AP) — Six seconds isn't a long time, but Vine superstar Shawn Mendes made the time count when posting cover songs on the social media platform. The teen singer says he would pick the hits he would cover — and the sections of the tracks — an

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Britain Prince George [Duplicate] [Duplicate] Big milestone for Britain's little prince LONDON (AP) — The palace is releasing special pictures, the Royal Mint is striking a commemorative coin and newspapers are publishing glowing tributes. What's all the fuss about? A little boy who will be king. Prince George turns 1 on Tuesday. While

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Library honors Billy Joel with US pop music prize WASHINGTON (AP) — The Library of Congress is honoring Billy Joel with its Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. Librarian James Billington said Tuesday the singer-songwriter, whose hits include "Piano Man" and "Uptown Girl," will receive the prize in Wash

    July 22, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

The Pence administration continues to cut Indiana agency budgets despite a state surplus of $2 billion. Is this wise management of state funds?

Not sure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.