The Tommy team of Des MacAnuff and Wayne Cilento appears to have taken over directing the musical High Society, now in Broadway previews, from Christopher Renshaw and Lar Lubovitch.
Production spokesman Adrian Bryan-Brown denied the rumor that MacAnuff and Cilento, director and choreographer, respectively, of Tommy and the recent revival of How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, had taken the helm of the show, which stars Melissa Errico, Daniel McDonald, and Stephen Bogardus. Bryan-Brown said MacAnuff may assist Renshaw with some rehearsals.
However, High Society actors who have contacted Playbill On-Line contested the official account. Asking for anonymity, they said that, for all practical purposes, MacAnuff has taken over directing the show, though Renshaw is keeping his billing, much as Mark Morris did when Jerry Zaks came in to doctor The Capeman. The performers also said Tony-winning choreographer Wayne Cilento, who worked with MacAnuff on both Tommy and H2$, will be helping with the dances.
The show is produced by Dodger Endemol Theatricals, for which MacAnuff is a producer.
Previews began Mar. 31 and High Society is scheduled to open April 27, postponed from April 23. MacAnuff has been seen at the show at preview performances this week, and now at rehearsals. But, Bryan-Brown said, as a member of the Dodgers, MacAnuff is only one of the co-producers who have been present. All will help Renshaw polish the show in the remaining three and a half weeks before the opening, Bryan-Brown said. High Society is hoping to open before the April 29 deadline for the 1998 Tony Awards.
Renshaw's 1996 revival of The King and I won four Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical. Renshaw was nominated as Best Director of a Musical, but did not win.