Classic show remains as vibrant as ever
Wales Millennium Centre
PERFORMERS must become accustomed to being compared to their predecessors.
But to say that those starring in High Society had some tough acts to follow would be something of an understatement.
The original film, based on the Philip Barry play The Philadelphia Story, starred Hollywood legends Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant and James Stewart.
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Cole Porter's musical remake, which the current stage version more closely resembles, didn't have too shabby a cast list either, starring Grace Kelly, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra.
But Michael Praed, starring as the charismatic Dexter Haven in a venue that he recently described as the best in the country, did a tremendous job of walking in their footsteps. Proving that he can sing as well as act, the former Robin of Sherwood star, alongside a glamorous Sophie Bould as Tracy Lord and a show-stealing performance from 17-year-old newcomer Katie Lee, wowed a packed Millennium Centre crowd with a flamboyant and appropriately vintage production.
But the true magic, and key element of the show remains the timeless tunes of Cole Porter. From the magical Who Wants To Be a Millionaire, the iconic Well, Did You Evah!, to the comical highpoint of the show, Teddy Kempner's wonderfully droll Say It With Gin, the music was as vibrant and ever, and performed impeccably by a magnificent live band.