Opening up on Oct. 29 and running through to Nov. 6 is the second-year MacEwan Theatre students’ production of High Society.
“If this play could be described in one word it would be wit,” explains Brittany Hunter, one of the stars of the play. “This play has so much wit. And the script has a lot more substance to it than most classic musical theatre. There’s a lot of depth to the characters and the script.”
Second-year MacEwan theatre arts students get ready to take High Society to the John L. Haar Theatre stage from Oct. 28 to Nov. 6.
Hunter plays Tracy Lord, a headstrong,her upcoming wedding. Her plans hit a snag when her ex-husband arrives followed by a slew of other potential suitors.
“[Lord is] a fireball,” comments Hunter on her character. “She’s well educated and can be laid-back and still have fun. But, everything needs to be perfect and she expects everyone else to be perfect as well.”
One of the potential suitors is Mike Connor, played by Corey Schmidtt. Connor is a writer who’s working as a journalist for a gossip magazine. When he meets Lord to get the scoop on the wedding of the year, he gets way more than he bargained for.
“[Connor] wants to be able to just go write, but he has to work for the gossip magazine for the money,” describes Schmidtt. “He’s really stand-offish and distant but he’s also inquisitive and curious. At first, he really doesn’t like the high-class people he has to write about, he thinks their snobby, but he really does grow to like them.”
One of the most likable characters is that of Uncle Willie, played by Dustin Allen.
“This play is pretty funny throughout, but Uncle Willie is there to give comic relief when things are getting pretty tense on stage,” comments Allen. “He’s always drunk, he’s kind of a pervert, but he’s still lovable. And he’s funny because usually the old crazy drunk guy character is like a bum. But in this case, he’s rich and lives in the mansion next door to his niece [Lord].”
The MacEwan Theatre program brought in a guest director for High Society. Better known for her work as an anchor on CityTV’s Breakfast Television, Bridget Ryan has actually spent most of her life working in musical theatre and is also the daughter of MacEwan’s late Tim Ryan.
“[Bridget Ryan] has worked in New York and has just done a tonne in musical theatre,” iterates Schmidtt.
“Every time she talks she’s captivating,” furthers Hunter. “She makes it so that you’re not scared to try new things.”
The cast is also excited to perform the musical score composed by Cole Porter, which includes the songs “I Love Paris,” “Ridin’ High” and “True Love.”
“[Porter] is a legend,” stresses Schmidtt. “He was the first great composer and lyricist for theatre. Everything he writes is very clever.”
Tickets for High Society are available at Tix on the Square for $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors.
High Society will be performed at the John L. Haar Theatre located on the Centre for the Arts and Communications campus (10045 155 St.)