Friday, 21 November 2014

Maria Friedman to direct HIGH SOCIETY at the Old Vic

Cole Porter’s classic feel-good musical, High Society comes to The Old Vic in a glittering new production staged in the round.

Directed by multi-award-winning director and musical star Maria Friedman (director of Merrily We Roll Along, Olivier Award winner for Best Musical Revival, Critics’ Circle and Evening Standard Awards for Best Musical). High Society is based on The Philadelphia Story and the 1956 MGM film musical starring Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly and Frank Sinatra.

Long Island socialite Tracy Lord is planning her lavish summer wedding when her ex- husband appears to try and win her back. His unwelcome arrival threatens to disrupt proceedings. When tabloid reporter Mike Connor arrives to cover the nuptials, he too takes a shine to the bride-to-be. But which of these three suitors will she choose?

The final production of The Old Vic’s season in the round, this ambitious project is once more made possible by the generous support of CQS. The season of productions is supported for the fourth consecutive year by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Maria Friedman, Director, said "To stage High Society in the round at The Old Vic is a hugely exciting project providing the perfect immersive environment for a sparkling musical celebration of wedding day shenanigans. I am really looking forward to transporting audiences into the glamorous heart of this world and hope they enjoy the party!”

Maria Friedman made her directorial debut with Merrily We Roll Along at the Menier Chocolate Factory which then transferred to the Harold Pinter Theatre. The show won two Olivier Awards including Best Musical Revival, Critics Circle and Evening Standard Awards for Best Musical as well as being nominated for a further five Olivier Awards including Best Director. Merrily We Roll Along received more five-star reviews than any West End show in history.

Friedman’s extensive performing credits include Maria Friedman: Re-arranged, which transferred from the Menier Chocolate Factory to Trafalgar Studios (Olivier Award nomination for Best Entertainment); Fosca in Sondheim’s Passion (Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical); Mother in Ragtime (Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical); Maria Friedman, by Special Arrangement which transferred from the Donmar Warehouse to the Whitehall Theatre (Olivier Award for Best Entertainment); Chicago at the Adelphi Theatre (Olivier Award nomination); Sunday in the Park with George (Olivier Award nomination for Outstanding Performance of the Year by an Actress in a Musical) and Lady in the Dark (Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical) both at the National Theatre; West End and Broadway productions of The Woman in White (Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical/Theatre World Award for Outstanding Broadway Debut).

More recently Maria has been seen performing her new show Back to Before which is to transfer to New York in 2015. She is also currently appearing as Elaine Peacock in the BBC1 continuing drama EastEnders. 
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