Broadway veterans Stephen Bogardus and Betsy Joslyn have joined the cast of Broadway's High Society.
Bogardus will play the role of Macaulay Connor (he's replacing Jere Shea, who played the part in San Francisco) and Joslyn has been cast as the housekeeper.
Bogardus, who starred as Whizzer in Broadway's Falsettos, recently played Gaylord Ravenal in the national tour of Showboat. Joslyn, who began her career two decades ago as Luisa in Off-Broadway's The Fantasticks, has numerous credits ranging from Joanna in the original Broadway production of Sweeney Todd to the starring role in the Comden & Green musical A Doll's Life.
The stage adaptation of Cole Porter's 1956 film High Society begins Broadway previews Mar. 31 and opens April 23 at the St. James Theatre. The production stars Melissa Errico, Daniel McDonald and Randy Graff.
Tickets can be ordered at (212) 239-6200. You can also order tickets on Playbill On-Line. The High Society film was based on Philip Barry's 1939 play, The Philadelphia Story.
Choreographer Lar Lubovitch was responsible for the musical staging of two sequences in the recent King And I revival. He also worked on the dance staging for James Lapine's 1995 drama at Lincoln Center, Twelve Dreams.
The San Francisco tryout of the Broadway-bound musical, which opened at the American Conservatory Theatre Sept. 10, 1997, extended its sold-out run there from Oct. 5 to Oct. 12. ACT cast members still with the show include:
Tony nominee Daniel McDonald, who played the heaven-sent marathon dancer in Steel Pier, plays Philadelphian Main Liner, C.K. Dexter Haven.
Melissa Errico, who received raves in the most recent Broadway revival of My Fair Lady and in the "Encores!" production of One Touch of Venus, stars as his ex, Tracy Lord, a blueblood who's altar-bound again.
Randy Graff, a Tony winner for City of Angels, is Connor's wise-cracking sidekick photographer, pursued all over the elegant Main Line premises by Tracy's randy unmarried uncle (John McMartin of Follies fame).
Also featured in the Society cast are Lisa Banes (Arcadia), Michael Goodwin (Cyrano), Mark Kudisch (Gaston in Beauty & The Beast), and 13-year-old Lisbeth Zelle.
Christopher Renshaw, who drew acclaim and Tony consideration for the recent Broadway revival of The King and I, directs the musical, which boasts a book by Arthur Kopit (Nine, Doctor Zhivago).
Aside from featuring most of the songs from the movie, this new version has nothing to do with the British High Society that first reached the stage a few years ago with Natasha Richardson. The brand-new Yankee edition will be spiced with standards plus tunes from other Porter scores (all except Anything Goes and Kiss Me Kate).
Designing High Society are Loy Arcenas (sets), Jane Greenwood (costumes; Judith Dolan did the costumes at ACT); and Tony Meola (sound). Christopher Akerlind did the lighting in San Francisco, but a lighting designer for the New York production is TBA.
This story of the humanization (through love) of a haughty, aristocratic woman was written specifically for Katharine Hepburn because Barry liked the movie she did of his play, Holiday. The result, The Philadelphia Story, opened at Broadway's Shubert March 28, 1939, and revitalized Hepburn's sagging career. The roles of the ex-hubby, reporter, photographer and philanderer were originated by Joseph Cotten, Van Heflin, Shirley Booth and Forrest Orr on stage and brought to film a year later by Cary Grant, James Stewart (who won an Oscar), Ruth Hussey and Roland Young; in Porter's film musical (which had Philadelphia's pre-princess, Grace Kelly, in the Hepburn role), those parts were essayed by Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Celeste Holm and, in his last film, Louis Calhern.
The Dodgers are producing the show with Lauren Mitchell, the former actress and debuting producer. (She originated the title role in Kiss of the Spider Woman when that musical premiered at SUNY Purchase in the spring of 1990.)