So we had a reading back in November with our adaption of Taming of the Shrew. Yikes! Too long, too much music and some songs just didn’t work. In all fairness: some of the actors were seeing the script for the first time. In fact, they had to call a local gal to come over to read the Evangeline part–cold! (Thank you Sue Ellen Love for being a trouper!!) Add in some technical snafus on our part and you have a perfect recipe for one long evening and one disastrous reading.
So back to the Bard’s drawing board. It’s funny that Shakespeare enjoyed writing for a quarreling couple and for a younger couple who fall in love. Could Willie have been so far ahead of the curve that he knew someday his stories would make great fodder for musicals? (spooky sfx here)
Even in High Society the Shakespearean “mistaken identity” card was used! In fact…what if the setting for this classic Cole Porter film was used for our show? And the Bing Crosby/Grace Kelly parts were adapted to be Beatrice and Ben from Much Ado About Nothing?
While the stories are not similar, the exclusive world created in High Society makes an excellent backdrop for a play. As Shakespeare first penned and so many great musicals utilize, two love stories with clever conflict makes for a great play! (Didn’t think the Frank Sinatra-Celeste Holm secondary romance worked that well, but what do I know.)
So take Much Ado, change the names of Claudio and Hero, make the villain Don John a woman named Dawn, throw in a couple misfit Cockney cops as Dogberry and Virgil (renamed) and give Leonardo a love interest with Evangeline (GOTTA use that song) and BAM! A musical!
First reading two weeks from tonight! Some terrific actors have submitted demos/resumes. High hopes for our high society romp!