Now playing until June 24 at the Stanley Theatre
By Kaylin Metchie
Summer has come and it's cocktails all around.
High Society is an exhilarating performance from start to finish. The acting is crisp, the singing is flawless, the live band is terrific, the choreography is entrancing, and the play itself is romantic, lively and humorous. Cole Porter deserves his place amongst other composers whose works have found their way into the Great American Songbook. High Society consists of some of the finest music one can hear in any musical.
High Society is essentially a romantic comedy, following wealthy socialite Tracy Lord (played by Jennifer Lines) as she plans yet another wedding to social climber George Kittredge (Steve Maddock). But of course, like in most romantic comedies, things do not go smoothly as just days before her big event Tracy’s ex-husband, smooth talker Dexter Haven (Todd Talbot), arrives back in town.
Now the plot line is not a complicated one. I bet you can already guess what happens next. But this is not theatre that is meant to challenge you on an intellectual level. It is simply a great time, a great play that you can take your partner to and come out feeling all giddy and romantic.
The thing that sets this musical apart from others in its genre is the music. There’s a reason why Cole Porter’s tunes have lasted into the 21st century, and why so many artists continue to sample his work. And the cast and band do the music justice. These truly are some of Vancouver’s finest performers. All the singers are able to stand their ground in these well-known pieces. Some of the greatest musical moments of the night come from Lauren Bowler, who plays the quick-witted photographer Liz Imbrie. She effortlessly sings throughout her range, with a warmth in her voice that fills the room. Another stand out is Steve Maddock, who is regarded as one of Canada’s best jazz vocalists. It’s unfortunate that he only gets one solo song in the play, as you can listen to his silky-smooth voice all night long.
The acting in itself is a delight. Jennifer Lines is always superb in all that she does. Along with the rest of the cast, she brings you on a light and exciting journey.
High Society is a great play for the summer. It’s fun and loose and down right enjoyable. It’s like watching reality TV, except better, and with singing. You will leave wanting to “misbehave” with a bottle of champagne.