SUU Presents Original Musical Review, “The Lyrics Kings”

Published: January 21, 2005 | Author: Renee Ballenger | Read Time: 2 minutes

The College of Performing and Visual Arts’ Department of Music at Southern Utah University will present The Lyric Kings, an original musical review featuring the lives and music of lyricists Cole Porter and Stephen Sondheim, on February 3-5, and February 10-12, at 7:30 p.m. in Thorley Hall in the Music Building at SUU.

The Lyric Kings was created and directed by Associate Professor of Music Carol Ann Modesitt. Students Andrew Briggs and Kristin Chamberlain are choreographers for the show. Will Buys, playing Stephen Sondheim, and William Pressgrove, playing Cole Porter, will talk to the audience about their music and the influences which affected much of their musical careers. The Lyric Kings will feature music from many Sondheim and Porter musicals as well as several Cole Porter pop standards.

Cole Porter, born in 1891, was an American composer and songwriter whose best-known works include Kiss Me Kate and Anything Goes, as well as songs like “Night and Day,” “I Get a Kick Out of You” and “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.” His music was recognized for its sophisticated lyrics, clever rhymes, and complex forms. Porter died on October 15, 1964.

Stephen Sondheim, born in 1930, is an American musical theater lyricist and composer whose music and lyrics have been an integral part of numerous musicals, including West Side Story, Into the Woods, Gypsy, Assassins, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Sondheim employs various literary techniques and devices in his work that make his music akin to poetry. His work is highly-regarded by music aficionados, and is considered to be more sophisticated than the work of many of his musical theater peers.

"I chose the name ‘Lyric Kings’ primarily because both Sondheim and Porter are known for their witty and sophisticated lyrics," explains Modesitt. "In most musical theatre there is a separate composer and lyricist who collaborate on all of the songs in the show. Stephen Sondheim and Cole Porter excelled in managing to write both words and music, and there are some interesting parallels in their lives."

Ticket prices are $8 for adults, $5 for senior citizens, and $3 for SUU students. For more information about The Lyric Kings, or the SUU Department of Music, or to reserve tickets, please call (435) 586-7890, or visit


Through its more than 100-year history, Southern Utah University has evolved from a teacher training school into its current role as a comprehensive, regional university to 6,000 students from across the globe. It serves the southern region of Utah and contiguous counties in surrounding states with undergraduate and graduate programs in six colleges. People of the region look to the University for outreach services, culture, economic and business development, higher learning, regional history, public affairs, major academic specialties, and significant entertainment and recreation. Accentuated by the notable, economic value of its services, SUU's hallmark is its quality staff, faculty and academics.

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