Photo Flash: First Look at HIGH SOCIETY at Walnut Street Theatre
Walnut Street Theatre opens its landmark 207th season with the sparkling Broadway musical featuring the classic sounds of Cole Porter, HIGH SOCIETY. Directed by Frank Anzalone, with choreography by Mary Jane Houdina, this Philadelphia premiere began previews on September 8th, opens on September 16th and runs through October 25th on the Walnut's Mainstage. BroadwayWorld has a first look at the cast in action below!
HIGH SOCIETY introduces Tracy Lord, a wealthy socialite planning her lavish summer wedding when her ex-husband appears to try and win her back. When charming tabloid reporter Mike Connor arrives to cover the nuptials, he too takes a shine to the bride-to-be. As the day of the wedding draws closer who will the bride choose? Audiences are invited to the wedding of the year, and what a swell party it's going to be! Broadway's dazzling musical comedy features hit songs including "Let's Misbehave," "Just One of Those Things," "True Love" and the unforgettable "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?".
HIGH SOCIETY is based on Philip Barry's 1939 stage comedy The Philadelphia Story, and the 1956 film musical High Society, which starred Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly and Frank Sinatra. The stage musical, with book by Arthur Kopit, saw its Broadway premiere in 1998 at the St. James Theatre. The production was nominated for two Tony Awards and four Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding New Musical. In London, a musical adaptation of HIGH SOCIETY, with book by Richard Eyre, opened in 1987. The Arthur Kopit version was produced at the Open Air Theatre in 2003, before transferring to London's West End in 2005. Most recently, a revival was produced at The Old Vic Theatre in April, 2015.
Megan Nicole Arnoldy will lead the party as the bride-to-be Tracy Lord. Paul Schaefer makes his Walnut debut as the dashing ex-husband Dexter Haven. Jon Reinhold (Beauty and the Beast) returns to the Walnut as groom-to-be George Kittredge and, always ready to enjoy the party, Dan Schiff (1776) will play Uncle Willie. Ben Dibble (The Producers) joins the cast as the reporter turned love interest Mike Connor and Jenny Lee Stern (Godspell) will play the patient-hearted photographer. Grace Gonglewski (An Ideal Husband) returns to the Mainstage as mother-of-the-bride Margaret Lord and Dan Olmstead (Amadeus) as father-of-the-bride Seth Lord. The role of the youngest member of the Lord family, Dinah, will be shared by Cambria Klein (Elf) and Alexis Gwynn (Elf).
The ensemble is full of Walnut veterans, including Robert Abdoo (Oliver!), Laura Giknis (Grease), Billy D. Hart (9 To 5: The Musical), Jesse Jones (Memphis), Michael Philip O'Brien (How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying), Jenny Piersol (Mary Poppins), Kerri Rose (9 To 5) and Adrienne Wells (Memphis).
Creating the lush 1930's setting of the classic story re-set on Oyster Bay, Long Island, the Walnut welcomes back Robert Andrew Kovach as Set Designer (9 To 5: The Musical, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Elf). He is joined by Lighting Designer Paul Black (Mary Poppins, How to Succeed..., In the Heights), Costume Designer Mary Folino (The Mousetrap, Around the World in 80 Days), and Sound Designer Will Pickens (9 To 5: The Musical, Elf), whose deigns will remind audiences of the romance of a glamorous era.
HIGH SOCIETY runs at the Walnut September 8 through October 25. Open captioning will be available for the Sunday, October 4th performance. This production is sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers. Media Sponsor is NBC 10 and Metro Philadelphia. For tickets and information, call 215-574-3550 or 800-982-2787. Tickets are also available online 24/7 by visiting www.WalnutStreetTheatre.org or Ticketmaster.
Photo Credit: Mark Garvin
Company of Walnut Street Theatre's production of HIGH SOCIETY