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I saw this show at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, on 2nd March 2013.  For anyone who doesn’t know the story, it revolves around the imminent marriage of socialite Tracy Lord.  Events are complicated by the arrival of her first husband, C.K. Dexter Haven, and a journalist named Mike Connor, who has been sent to do a magazine article on the wedding.  Tracy realises that she has unresolved feelings for Dexter, and there is further trouble when she finds herself attracted to Mike!  It was adapted into a film starring Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant and James Stewart, in 1940, and it was again adapted, this time into a musical starring Grace Kelly, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra.  This play is an adaptation of the musical.

It was a wonderful performance.  Michael Praed was fantastic and just right for the role of Dexter (resembling Cary Grant’s portrayal more than Bing Crosby’s), and Sophie Bould was perfect as the cool and critical Tracy, who becomes warmer as the story with it’s unexpected romantic entanglements proceeds.  Daniel Boys struck just the right note as Mike, and Alex Young was great as Liz Imbrie, the photographer who accompanies Mike, and whose love for him is clear to everyone except Mike himself.  There was not a single weak link in the whole cast, which also included Teddy Kempner as Tracy’s alcohol sizzled Uncle Willie, Marilyn Cutts as Tracy’s mother Margaret, and Craig Pinder as her disgraced father Seth.  Katie Lee played Dinah, Tracy’s spunky and intelligent younger sister, and reminded me of the character as portrayed in The Philadelphia Story; she was terrific.  In the performance that I saw, George Kittredge, Tracy’s dull-as-dishwater fiancé, was played by the understudy Steven Butler.  He was extremely good in the role.

Finally, I must mention the rest of the cast who played the staff of the Lord household, and who put on some amazing dance displays, and performed some wonderful songs.  In fact, all of the cast had lovely voices, and brought the songs to life.

I thought the scene changes were highly effective, with the use of the revolving stage – the sets were imaginative and very evocative of the era.

This was a very high-energy, feel-good show, and I was laughing and smiling all the way through.  I saw a matinee performance, and I could easily have gone to see the show again that same evening, and would have thoroughly enjoyed it.  A wonderful show from beginning to end.

(For more information about this production, please click here.)

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Click here for my review of the 1940 film The Philadelphia Story.

Click here for my review of the 1956 film High Society.

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