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KISS ME, KATE

Music and Lyrics by COLE PORTER
Libretto by SAM and BELLA SPEWACK
Based on Shakespeare's TAMING OF THE SHREW

New York run: The New Century Theatre; opened December 30, 1948; ran for 1070 Performances

Plot Synopsis

Cole Porter was once asked who had written "Some Enchanted Evening". "Rodgers and Hammerstein," he replied, "if you can imagine it taking two people to write a song!" This was the essence of Cole Porter: witty, a little cynical but a master of the chic cocktail party retort and the irreverant sophisticated lyric. In the 1930s he attempted to perpetuate the glamour and sophistication of the twenties. When other Broadway writers were reacting to the Depression and incorporating social comment in their shows, Porter's response was to set "Anything Goes" (1934) on a luxurious cruise ship. It was one of his most successful productions and continues to enjoy numerous revivals. But during the mid-forties, he had three failures in a row. Thus, when Bella Spewack came to him with the idea for "Kiss Me, Kate", his initial response was "I don't think I could do it". He was finally convinced and went on to produce not only his most memorable score but his longest-running hit (1077 performances). The idea for the show began germinating in 1935 when producer Saint Subber, then a stagehand for the Theatre Guild's production of "The Taming Of The Shrew", became aware that its stars, Alfred Lunt and Lynne Fontanne, quarreled in private almost as much as did the characters they were portraying in the play. "Kiss Me, Kate" takes place backstage and onstage at Ford's Theatre in Baltimore, from five P.M. to midnight during one day of a tryout of a musical version of "The Taming of the Shrew". In the plot, egotistical actor-producer Fred Graham and his temperamental co-star and ex-wife, Lille Vanessi, fight and make up and eventually demonstrate their enduring affection for each other -- just like Shakespeare's Petruchio and Kate. A subplot involves Lois Lane, whose romance with actor Bill Calhoun is complicated by Bill's weakness for gambling. The personal interrelationships of these actors make for delightful fun and are eventually resolved during the somewhat chaotic opening night performance of the Shakespeare classic.

Cast of Characters (ORIGINAL BROADWAY CAST)

Fred/Petruchio

Alfred Drake

Lilli/Katharine

Patricia Morison

Bill/Lucentio

Harold Lang

Lois/Bianca

Lisa Kirk

Hattie

Annabelle Hill

Paul

Lorenzo Fuller

Mobsters

Aloysius Donovan, Alexis Dubroff

Gremio (1st suitor)

Bob Sands

Hortensio (2nd suitor)

Ray Drakely

Songs from the Show - Act One

Another Op'nin', Another Show

Hattie and Ensemble

Why Can't You Behave

Lois

Wunderbar

Lilli and Fred

So In Love

Lilli

We Open In Venice

Petruchio, Katharine, Bianca, Lucentio, Tutti

Padua Street Scene

Dance Ensemble

Tom, Dick or Harry

Bianca, Lucentio, Gremio, Hortensio

Rose Dance

Lucentio

I've Come To Wive It Wealthily In Padua

Petruchio and Men

I Hate Men

Katharine

Were Thine That Special Face

Petruchio and Dance Ensemble

I Sing Of Love

Biance, Lucentio, Chorus

Tarantella

Dance Ensemble

Finale: Kiss Me, Kate

Katharine, Petruchio and Ensemble

Songs from the Show - Act Two

Too Darn Hot

Paul and Chorus

Where Is The Life That Late I Led?

Petruchio

Always True To You In My Fashion

Lois

Bianca

Eddie, Jenny, Fanny & Chorus

So In Love (reprise)

Fred

Brush Up Your Shakespeare

Gangsters

Pavane

Dance Ensemble

I Am Ashamed That Women Are So Simple

Katharine

Finale

Petruchio, Katharine and Company

Grand Finale

Tutti

 

1955-1956 Production

Presented 1956 at the Ottawa Technical High School Auditorium, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Production Team

Artistic Director

Michael McKay

Musical Director

E.J. Robbins

Choreographer

Nesta Toumine

Cast

Fred Graham/Petruchio

Philip Wiegand

Ralph

Tim Hynes

Harry Trevor/Baptista

Hugh Petrie

Lois Lane/Bianca

Raymonde de Celles

Lilli Vanessi/Kate

Eileen Mahoney Wright

Paul

Kevin Conlon

Stage Doorman

Percy May

Bill Calhoun/Lucentio

Douglas Johnson

Cab Driver/Troilus

Bob Rivoire

Hattie

Audrey Jordan

First Man

Grant Wheeler

Second Man

Kirk Jones

Specialty Singer

Ann Turcotte

Harrison Howell

Don Wheeler

Nurses

Daisy Mae Checkley, Greta Jensen

Gremio (1st suitor)

James Harker

Hortensio (2nd suitor)

John Clarke

Haberdasher

Nick Michelis

Servants

Eileen Parks, Barbara Wills, June Pritchard

 

1977-1978 Production

Presented May 26, 27, 30 & June 1-3, 1978 at the High School of Commerce Auditorium, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Production Team

Producer

Marcel Carriegravere

Production Coordinator

J.A. Wallace

Dramatic Director

Joseph L. Shaver

Assistant to Dramatic Director

Dario Echeverri

Musical Director

Frank Burke

Choreographer

Nicolaas Hilferink

Assistant to Choreographer

Maki Kabayama

Accompanist

Lorna Rice

Set Designer & Scenic Artist

Jeanie Stewart

Costume Designer

Norma Coll

Costume Mistress

Judith Froome

Lighting Designer

Nancy Turner

Sound Technician

Bill Butterworth

Properties Mistress

Sis Bower

Asst. to Properties Mistress

Mary Jane Shields

Stage Manager

Chris Terry

Asst. Stage Manager

Gerry Reynolds

Master Carpenter

Tom Shields

Make-up Artist

Brian Gaham

Hair Stylist

Cher Daley

Promptress

Fran Smith

Publicity Director

Rick Matheson

Show Publicity

J.A. Wallace

Social Director

Sheila Shields

Programme Director

Frank Burke

Programme Cover Designer

Geoffrey Paterson

Production Photographer

Ron MacKenzie

Ticket Manageress

Anne Ford

House Manager (Commerce)

Jim Kerr

House Manager (Orpheus)

Bill Williams

Cast

Fred Graham

Charles Kerr

Harry Trevor

Myles Foster

Lois Lane

Holly Larocque

Ralph (stage manager)

Gerry Morris

Lilli Vanessi

Liane Marshall

Hattie

Sheila Shields

Stage Doorman

Lea Bonhower

Paul

Richard Elichuk

Bill Calhoun

Robert Duncan

Cab Driver

Chris Terry

First Man

James G. Mimnagh

Second Man

Gary Smith

Harrison Howell

Eddie Nunn

"The Taming of the Shrew" PLAYERS

 

Bianca (Lois Lane)

Holly Larocque

Baptista (Harry Trevor)

Myles Foster

Gremio (First Suitor)

Vern Fraser

Hortensio (Second Suitor)

York Davis

Lucentio (Bill Calhoun)

Robert Duncan

Katharine (Lilli Vanessi)

Liane Marshall

Petruchio (Fred Graham)

Charles Kerr

Haberdasher

Roger Webber-Taylor

SINGING ENSEMBLE

Peter Bartlett, Linda Beare, David Beckett, Gary Bryck, Pat Current, Pat Fraser, Mark Hudson, Beverley James, Bo D. Light, Josie Machacek, Janice Magill, Pam Maser, Jacqueline Millner, Ruth Spreckley

DANCING ENSEMBLE

Robert Corrigan, Vicki Forrester, Andre LaBelle, Debbie Miller, Linda Prichett, Denise Smith, Valerie van Veen, Jack Wallace, Roger Webber-Taylor, Sheila Weeks

Orchestra

Under the direction of Frank Burke

Reeds

John Hilchie, Norman "Duke" McGuirl, Mike Mullen, Graziano Brescacin, George Kovar

Strings

Joan Zelkowicz, Florence Dunn, Keith Milliken, Millicent Shaw, Eliane Milliquet, Steve Smith

Brass

Sid Holmes, Ed Hall, Drummond Hudson, Nat Battersby

Rhythm

Lorna Rice, Frank Koller, Mark Trecarten, Neils Lund

1991-1992 Production

Presented May 29 - June 6, 1992 at the High School of Commerce Auditorium, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Production Team

Production Coordinator

Drummond Hudson

Artistic Director

Jim Mimnagh

Musical Director

Neil Bateman

Choreographer

Debbie Miller-Smith

Dance Captain

Kathryn Romanow

Accompanists

Lorna Rice, Pat McKinna

Set Designer

Margaret Coderre-Williams

Scenic Artist

Jeanie Stewart

Costume Coordinator

Norma Coll

Properties Mistress

Malvary Cole

Stage Manager

Marilyn Day

Asst. Stage Manager

Neil Monkman

Master Carpenter

Tom Mordasewicz

Workshop Chairman

John Solman

Make-up Designer

Melva Scott

Cast

Fred Graham

Thom Goudie

Harry Trevor

Ken Panton

Lois Lane

Carolyn Dunlop

Ralph (stage manager)

Brian Burke

Lilli Vanessi

Barbara Seabright-Moore

Hattie

Marylen Milenkovic

Stage Doorman

Sam Wells

Paul

Robert McColman

Bill Calhoun

Norman Lalonde

Cab Driver

Brad Burgess

First Man

Walt Conrad

Second Man

Moe Romanow

Harrison Howell

Sam Smith

"The Taming of the Shrew" PLAYERS

 

Bianca (Lois Lane)

Carolyn Dunlop

Baptista (Harry Trevor)

Ken Panton

Gremio (First Suitor)

Jim Robertson

Hortensio (Second Suitor)

Mark Allan

Lucentio (Bill Calhoun)

Norman Lalonde

Katharine (Lilli Vanessi)

Barbara Seabright-Moore

Petruchio (Fred Graham)

Thom Goudie

Haberdasher

James Gill

SINGING ENSEMBLE

Phoebe Webber, Martha Milne, Skye MacDiarmid, Anabela Last, Tammy Sutherland, James Gill, Jom Robertson, Sam Smith, Barbara Bottriell, Heather Monkman, Guylaine Roy, Penny Charbonneau, Caroline Heaton, Jim Morrison, Broak Sarault, Eugene Oscapella, Brian Schecter

DANCING ENSEMBLE

Robert McColman, Mark Allan, Brenda Firobin, Amy Baldwin, Kathryn Romanow, Janet Devine, Rory McGlynn, Brad Burgess

Orchestra

Under the direction of Neil Bateman

Reeds

John Hilchie, David Ward

Strings

Irving Thompson, Kathleen Hovey, Sophia Pan, Kevin James, Elaine Milliquet, Steve Smith, Sol Gunner

Brass

Sid Holmes, Michel Renaud, Drummond Hudson

Percussion

Art Beers

Piano

John McGovern

 

Links to Related Sites

 

2000 Broadway Revival web site Musical Heaven: Kiss Me, Kate