Hot on the heels of its Broadway premiere, High Society will open at the Metropol-Theater in Vienna on June 3.
However, this Viennese production is neither the brand new Broadway version nor the one that toured GB in 1996. Three years ago, the Vereinigten Buehnen Wien (VBW--United Stages of Vienna) bought the rights for the 1996 London stage version, based like all subsequent versions on the MGM flick of 1956, in which Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Celeste Holm sang the Cole Porter songs.
At a press conference, Rudi Klausnitzer, director of the VBW explained how High Society ended up at the Metropol, which is not part of the VBW: "We came to realise that this shows needs a smaller setting."
Peter Hofbauer, director of the Metropol, was only too glad to add High Society to his recent string of highly successful musicals (Guys and Dolls, Elvis, Nunsense). Both conceded that this cooperation may be the first of more to come.
Dunja Sowinetz and Caroline Koczan have translated the 1987-version into German. Heinz Marecek directs, Richard Oesterreicher is the musical director while Doris-Marie Marlis has her first big job as a dance director. As is has become custom for the Metropol, Peter Hofbauer has assembled an interesting cast. Yngve Gasoy Romdal, who has just finished playing Joe Gillis in the German production of Sunset Boulevard, is C.K. Dexter Haven. Therese Lohner, daughter of one of Vienna´s most beloved actors, Helmut Lohner, is the highly strung Daisy Lord. Sigrid Hauser and Andreas Steppan play the Sinatra/Holm roles, offering (besides enormous acting talent) additonal spice to the show - they are "an item" in private life, too.
High Society runs at the Metropol Theater from June 3 to August 1 (daily except Sunday and Monday). Tickets can be ordered at +43-1-407 77 407 or by e-mail at "firstname.lastname@example.org".
The Metropol-webpage can be accessed at "http://www.wiener-metropol.at".