The Decline and Fall...Eyes of Cole Porter

Full-Length Musical, Comedy  /  3w, 2m

Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter

Based on the New York production assembled and directed by Ben Bagley

A historic revue of the double meanings in Cole Porter's lyrics, and the legacy of his music.

The Decline and Fall...Eyes of Cole Porter

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    3w, 2m
  • SubGenre
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Adult, Teen (Age 14 - 18)


Ben Bagley, the proven master of revue, has concocted a tongue-in-cheek historic cavalcade from the rare jewels of Cole Porter's vast musical treasure trove. The 'world' under scrutiny is that between 1919 and 1945 when, indeed, some considerable declining and falling went on. Here, the generally unsuspected meanings behind many of Porter's songs indicate that during times of chaos and destruction, he saw the world with an impudent, highly sophisticated and indomitably euphoric gaze. Porter created a world of his own through his songs, and made ours richer in the process.

Writers Notes for The Decline and Fall...Eyes of Cole Porter
Written By: Ben Bagley

The 1980's -- an age of enlightenment. Subjects that were taboo a few years ago are now dealt with openly in the arts and in life. Acceptance of amatory glories are offering inspiration and hope to countless Americans who are discovering, for example, generally unsuspected meanings in the songs of Cole Porter. This is true not only of his familiar material, but in many of the unknown songs, included in this revue. At any rate, the future promises us freedom from inhibition, and Porter's work, which is so completely uninhibited, belongs to this age and the future, more than that of any other composer. I should know -- I've been collecting unfamiliar Porter material since I was thirteen.

The Decline and Fall of the Entire World As Seen Through the Eyes of Cole Porter, my revuesical which played at the Square East Theatre in New York, shows, by means of historical cavalcade, that in times of chaos and destruction Porter saw the world with impudent, highly sophisticated and indomitably euphoric gaze. And this despite his personal tragedies.

He was thrown from a horse in 1937 and partially crippled. A terrifically courageous man, Porter composed the scores for many of his best shows while suffering countless painful operations and facing the possible loss of both his legs. An example of his spirit was shown in a 1939 issue of LIFE magazine. An advertisement presented a beaming Cole Porter holding his manuscript of Give Him the Oo-La, a song from Du Barry Was a Lady DU and saying Bayer aspirin had helped him complete his latest hit. Saucy! Sassy! Impudent! Cole Porter!
The Decline and Fall of the Entire World As Seen Through the Eyes of Cole Porter opened Off-Broadway at the Square East Theatre on March 30, 1965.
3 Women
2 Men

Girl I - A singing comedienne type.
Girl II - A good strong singer with a sense of humor, a soubrette.
Girl III - Sexy, singing, dancing lady.
Boy I - Song and Dance man.
Boy II - Singing Comic.
  • Features Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes, Period Costumes


"Mirthful, zany, poignant and sophisticated...literacy in the lyrics and subtlety in the melodic line are never out of fashion."
New York Herald Tribune
"The show is zippy, effervescent, campy, [and] novel."
— Tony Mastroianni, Cleveland Memory


1. "Introduction" - Boy II, Girl I
2. "I've A Shooting Box In Scotland" - Boy I, Chorus
2.1. "Old-Fashioned Garden (Underscore)" - Girl Ii
3. "I'm Unlucky At Gambling" - Girl I
3.1. "Twenties Undderscore" - Boy Ii, Girl Iii
4. "Wake Up And Dream" - All
5. "You've Got That Thing" - Boy I
6. "Hot House Rose" - Girl I, Boy I
7. "Leader Of A Big Time Band" - Girls I, Ii & Iii, Boy I
8. "I'm A Gigolo" - Boy Ii, Boy I, Girl I
9. "Red, Hot And Blue" - Girl I, All, Boy Ii, Girl Ii, Girl Iii
9.1. "Anything Goes (Underscore)" - Girl I
10. "I've Still Got My Health" - Girl II, All
11. "Find Me A Primitive Man" - Girl III
12. "I Loved Him, But He Didn't Love Me" - Girl I, Boy I
13. "Let's Fly Away" - All
14. "I'm In Love Again" - Girl III, Girl I
15. "I Happen To Like New York" - Boy I & II
16. "Ridin' High" - Girl I, All, Boy II
17. "The Tale Of The Oyster" - Girl I, Boy I
18. "Most Gentlemen Don't Like Love" - Girls I, II & III, Boy II
19. "At Long Last Love" - Boy I, Girl III
20. "Tomorrow (Finale Act I)" - Girl I, All, Boy II
21. "Entr'acte" - 
22. "Come On In" - Boy I, All, Girls,
23. "A Little Skipper From Heaven Above" - Boy II
24. "Make It Another Old-Fashioned, Please" - Girl III, Girl II, Boy I
25. "But In The Morning, No" - Girl I, Boy II
26. "Farming" - All
27. "After You, Who?" - Girl II
28. "Her Heart Is In Her Work" - Boys
29. "Something For The Boys" - Girls, All
29.1. "I'm In Love With A Soldier Boy" - Girl I
29.2. "By The Mississinewah" - Girl I, Girl III
30. "I Worship You" - Girl I Or Boy I
30.1. "After Worship (Underscore)" - Girl III
31. "Thank You So Much, Mrs. Lowsborough - Goodby" - Boy II
32. "Down In The Depths" - Girl Ii, Boy I
33. "When I Was A Little Cuckoo" - Girl I
34. "Experiment" - Boy II, Chorus
35. "Finale" - All
  • Musical Style Classic Broadway
  • Dance Requirements Moderate
  • Vocal DemandsModerate
  • Chorus Size No Chorus

Licensing & Materials

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.

Music Rentals

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9 Libretto
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1 Percussion
1 Logo Pack
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9 Piano-Vocal Score
1 Logo Pack


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Cole Porter

Cole Porter was born in Peru, Indiana in 1891 and died in Hollywood 73 years later. In between, he wrote some of the most memorable songs ever heard on stage or screen, among them “Night and Day,” “Begin the Beguine,” “You’re The Top,” “I Get a Kick Out of You,” “Love For Sal ...

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Ben Bagley

BEN BAGLEY (1933-1998), was one of the true innovators of American Musical Theatre in the second half of the 20th century. Born in Vermont during the Great Depression, Bagley's grandmother introduced him to the theatre with annual treks to Broadway. In 1955 at age 22 he produ ...

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