Casting Set for Musicals Tonight!'s The High Life, Oct. 18-30

Casting has been announced for the Musicals Tonight! concert production of Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz' melodic soufflé The High Life, which will run from October 18th through 30th at the intimate 45th Street Theatre (354 W. 45th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues).

Based on Arthur Schnitzler's fizzy, sexually-charged Anatol, the musical was known as The Gay Life in its original production.  Due to modern connotations of the word "gay," the show's licencers switched the Vienna-set musical's name to The High Life.  Originally starring Barbara Cook as Leisl, the strong-willed heroine who wants Anatol's thoughts to turn only to her, the show's Musicals Tonight! production will feature Jenni Barber in the role, as well as Doug Shapiro as Anatol's best friend Max, Roger Rifkin as the valet Franz, Deborah Jean Templin and Dennis Holland as Leisl's parents, and Barbara McCulloh as three of the seductive frauleins in Anatol's life.  The fancy-free bachelor himself will be played by Paul Green. 

With music by Schwartz, lyrics by Dietz and a book by Fay Kanin and Michael Kanin, The High Life opened at the Shubert Theatre on November 18th, 1961, and ran for 113 performances.  In addition to Cook (who was then at the height of her powers as a spunky Broadway ingenue), the show featured Walter Chiari, Jules Munshin and Elizabeth Allan.  Its score includes "Magic Moment," "I'm Glad I'm Single," "The Label on the Bottle," "Come A-Wandering with Me," "You're Not the Type" and others songs.

Like all Musicals Tonight! concerts, the musical will be presented with actors and a piano.  Thomas Mills will direct the piece, with James Stenborg serving as the musical director.  Mel Miller is the artistic director of Musicals Tonight!, which will be presenting its 32nd concert production with The High Life.  Good News
(November 1st to 13th), Mlle. Modiste (March 21st through April 2nd, 2006), Oh, Lady! Lady!! (April 25th through May 7th) and Let's Face It (May 9th to the 21st) are also slated for this season.

The High Life's performance schedule is: Tuesday-Saturday at 7:30 PM, with matinees Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday Sun at 2:30 PM.  Tickets, which are $19, can be purchased by calling Smarttix at (212) 868-4444 or visiting  For more information, visit

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