The production will run to Aug. 9 only. Also in the cast are Mary Carewe, Graham Bickley and Simon Green, with Jason Carr (Tony-nominated for his orchestrations of Sunday in the Park with George) and David Firman as joint musical directors.
A Swell Party, written by John Kane, was first presented at the Vaudeville Theatre in October 1991, and was originally also due to star Friedman amongst the cast, but she withdrew after a single preview, to be replaced by understudy Anne Wood. Also in the original cast were Nickolas Grace, David Kernan, Angela Richards and the late Martin Smith.
The show features songs from Porter's scores to High Society; Kiss Me, Kate; Anything Goes; and The Gay Divorce, and includes songs like "I Get a Kick Out of You," "I've Got You Under My Skin," "Miss Otis Regrets" and "Night and Day."
A Swell Party will be followed by Glorious Gershwin, a series of four concerts, including Sir Willard White singing his favorite Gershwin tunes on Aug. 13, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra performing "Rhapsody in Blue" on Aug. 14, and Kim Criswell and the BBC Big Band celebrating some of the best-loved songs of George and Ira Gershwin and their contemporaries Aug. 22-23. In a press statement, Criswell commented, "What's interesting about these shows is that they're not just about George's music, but also about Ira, as well as music by their friends, collaborators – and competitors – which will give a real sense of the period."
Ian Maclay, Cadogan Hall's artistic director, added, "Following the success of the Simply Sondheim production here last summer, we feel there is a genuine demand for high quality performances of music by composers best know for their work in the theatre: and George Gershwin and Cole Porter are two of the truly great composers in this field. We have an outstanding cast of singers for each of the productions, so, as George and Ira Gershwin might have said, the shows will be 'swonderful, 'smarvellous!" To book tickets contact the box office at 020 7730 4500 or visit www.cadoganhall.com.