BOONE, NC — The inaugural High Country Jazz Festival kicks off at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 8 with a public screening of MGM’s 1956 romantic musical comedy classic “High Society” at the Appalachian Theater. This musical remake of Philip Barry’s play ‘The Philadelphia Story’ features Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra and the incomparable jazz legend Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong and his all-star band, with an original score by Cole Porter.
The App Theater Cinema Classics series is generously sponsored by Nancy and Neil Schaffel.
“High Society” is a musical remake of the 1940 film “The Philadelphia Story” which was based on the 1939 play of the same title by Philip Barry. The story involves a successful popular jazz musician (Crosby) trying to win back the affections of his ex-wife (Kelly), who is preparing to marry another man. The cast also includes Celeste Holm, John Lund and Louis Calhern, in his latest film, with a musical performance by Louis Armstrong. “High Society” was Kelly’s last professional appearance before marrying Prince Rainier III and becoming Princess Consort of Monaco. The film was released just three months after their marriage.
Filming took place between January and March 1956 in Newport, Rhode Island. The location, according to Turner Classic Movies, allowed them to take advantage of the Newport Jazz Festival, established in 1954, incorporating it into the film by giving Crosby’s character a background as the descendant of a robber baron from the golden age turned jazz composer and friend of jazz star Louis Armstrong, who plays himself in the film, and patron of the Festival. As the name was verified by Crosby in the song “Now You Has Jazz”, where each musician takes a small solo, Armstrong’s band members were Edmond Hall (clarinet), “Trummy” Young (trombone), Billy Kyle (piano), Arvell Shaw (bass) and Barrett Deems (drums).
These historical ties make “High Society” a perfect launch event for the High Country Jazz Festival. The festival is an unprecedented partnership between the Appalachian Theater of the High Country (ATHC), the Boone Sunrise Rotary and the Appalachian State University Jazz Studies Program. The inaugural festival contains nearly a dozen free and ticketed events at ten different locations in Boone and Blowing Rock from June 8-12, 2022. Tickets are on sale now to the public with information available at www.HighCountryJazzFestival.org.
Admission to the in-person screening of “”High Society” is $12 for adults and $6 for children 12 and under and is available online through the theater’s contactless ticketing program. Everyone, regardless of age, must have a ticket for this event with reserved seating.
Théâtre des Appalaches is committed to the safety and well-being of its community and will continue to follow the advice of health and government officials in the development and implementation of COVID-related policies. To learn more about the current guidelines, or to join the theater’s eblast list, obtain tickets, or purchase subscriptions, please visit the website at www.apptheatre.org.