(Serena Davies’s article appeared in the Telegraph, 5/15.)
Well, Did You Evah? A show that looked destined for a dutiful three stars come interval time turns itself round so entirely in the second half that Kevin Spacey’s final piece of programming for the Old Vic may prove one of the hits of the summer.
The 1998 stage musical of High Society, with a book by Arthur Kopit, is based directly on Philip Barry’s original 1939 stage play The Philadelphia Story, but uses most of the Cole Porter songs of the 1956 musical film version – plus a scattering of other Porter numbers. The plot presents itself as arch and gossamer thin, demanding that we care about a spoilt socialite, Tracy Lord (Kate Fleetwood), on the eve of her wedding to a dullard who holds no apparent attraction to her – she certainly doesn’t need the money – while she’s thrown over her first husband CK Dexter Haven (Rupert Young), seemingly out of petulance.