410 West 42nd Street
New York, NY 10036
What Is the Story of Play It Cool?
As this new musical begins, Mary, the lesbian owner of an underground gay nightclub in early 1950s Hollywood, is preparing for an opening in which her sexy girlfriend, Lena, will be the featured singer. A mysterious movie producer enters the club with a fresh-faced young man just off the bus from South Carolina. Meanwhile, a sympathetic police officer drops by to pick up the protection money Mary pays him each week. The five characters proceed to share their stories and perform songs with titles like “In My Drag” and “Jazz Is a Special Taste.”
What Is Play It Cool Like?
Staged with a film noir vibe, Play It Cool is narrated by the seemingly hard-boiled cop, who introduces Mary and the other characters. An onstage nightclub set includes space for the musical trio that accompanies the cast’s five strong singers. The show is an appealing blend of old-school jazz (featuring an original score by Phillip Swann and Mark Winkler) and a storyline that reminds audiences how potentially dangerous it was to be openly gay sixty years ago.
Is Play It Cool Good for Kids?
The show won’t interest kids, but teenage jazz fans who are curious about the history of gay rights in America may want to check it out.