24th to 28th April 2012
About this show
Wealthy socialite Tracy Lord is in the midst of planning a lavish summer wedding when her ex-husband Dexter Haven turns up to disrupt the proceedings in an attempt to try and win her back. A further twist arrives in the form of charming reporter Mike Connor who falls instantly for Tracy, and she for him. As the day of the wedding draws closer we’re left guessing which groom the bride will choose!
Adapted from the hit 1956 film, which starred screen legends Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly and Frank Sinatra, High Society bubbles with a host of beautiful ballads including ‘True Love’, ‘You’re Sensational’ and the unforgettable ‘Well, Did You Evah!’ This uplifting and sparkling production proves that Porter’s classic musical style and fizzing wit will always be in fashion.
Review of High Society by William Gilliham
Audience members arriving and anticipating a carbon copy of the 1956 film “High Society” will have been surprised…and delightfully so. IMOG’s production was a full-blown Broadway style musical, based on the comedy “The Philadelphia Story”.
Naturally all the well loved Cole Porter songs from the Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Grace Kelly opus are there, but enhanced by many more Porter standards and a number of lesser known songs, that should be standards.
The entire IMOG team on stage, backstage and front of house should be proud of their achievement in presenting this challenging work in such an enthusiastic and successful fashion.
From curtain-up it was clear we were all in for a treat. The opening number is long and demands care in both its’ singing and choreography. The IMOG chorus managed it with great aplomb and set the standard for the rest of the show.
It would be unfair to spotlight any single performer, simply because all the principals made a first-rate job of their parts. All had voices to suit their respective roles and their delivery of dialogue was both crisp and well timed for some really witty exchanges contained in the script.
The large chorus, a little short of men (where have we heard that before?) sang with excellent diction and moved with precision. At this point praise must be given to the choreographer, Pam Sutton, who devised and coached the cast into making excellent use of the limited space available on-stage.
The band, under the baton of Richard Wade, provided a lively accompaniment, although at times a little more pianissimo would have been welcome.
The backstage crew coped with the numerous scene changes with dexterity. They are often overlooked, but cannot escape praise in this show!
We were particularly impressed by a number of enhancements to the score made by the producer, which gave the chorus a greater role and tidied up some loose ends in the original version.
All in all, the audience was treated to a first-class evening’s entertainment and it was clear from the smiles on faces and the humming of some of the melodies from the departing public, that they agreed.
“High Society” is not the easiest show to bring to the amateur stage and therefore the producer, Barbara Pountney must be congratulated in making this happen with such alacrity.
Well done IMOG!
Written By William Gilliham (Brentwood Gazette)