Kiss Me, Kate
2003: Chris Hunt
It’s hard to say whether this should be considered an adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew or something else: it’s the classic Cole Porter musical about a production of The Taming of the Shrew (more or less) in which the principal actors (Fred Graham and Lilli Vanessi) resolve their own peculiar differences following the breakup of their marriage in a manner reflecting the inner dynamic of the play.
This musical is the source for a number of phenomenally successful songs in their day (“Wunderbar”, “It’s Too Darn Hot”, etc.), and was perhaps the high point of Porter’s musical career (though others might debate such an assessment). Of particular interest here, it’s the source of the very funny “Brush Up Your Shakespeare”, which makes glancing and irreverent reference to a majority, if not all, of Shakespeare’s plays.
This performance, based on the Broadway revival of 2003, is significantly more faithful to the original stage version of Kiss Me, Kate than was the 1953 Howard Keel vehicle. It also offers some noteworthy singing and dancing forces and solid dramatic treatment of the play as well.
Bill Calhoun; Lucentio: Michael Berresse
Cab Driver; Nathaniel: Andrew Spillett
First Man: Teddy Kempner
Fred Graham; Petruchio: Brent Barrett
Gregory: Christopher Stewart
Gremio: Nick Winston
Haberdasher: Richard Sidaway
Harrison Howell : Nicholas Colicos
Harry Trevor; Baptista: Colin Farrell
Hattie : Kaye Brown
Hortensio: Barry McNeill
Lilli Vanessi; Katherine: Rachel York
Lois Lane; Bianca : Nancy Kathryn Anderson
Paul: Nolan Frederick
Phillip: Phillip Sutton
Pops: Duncan Smith
Ralph the Stage Manager: Alan Vicary
Second Man: Jack Chissick