The Roundabout Theatre revival of the classic musical comedy Kiss Me, Kate, a limited engagement, has extended its run by four weeks. The production, which recently opened on March 14th, received positive notices and will now play at Studio 54 through June 30, 2019. The musical stars Tony-winner Kelli O’Hara (The King and I) and Tony-nominee Will Chase, with direction by Scott Ellis and choreography by Warren Carlyle.
Kiss Me, Kate premiered on Broadway in 1948, with a score by the great Cole Porter and a book by Sam and Bella Spewack. It was the first musical to be awarded the Tony Award for Best Musical. It tells the story of an ex husband and wife acting team , Lilli Vanessi (O’Hara) and Fred Graham (Chase), who are performing opposite each other in a musical version of William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. Art imitates life as the relationship between the tempestuous Lilli and the arrogant Fred begins to parallel the Bard’s story. Kiss Me, Kate is filled to the brim with such showtune standards as “So In Love”, “Wunderbar,” “Another Op’nin’, Another Show”, “Too Darn Hot,” and “Brush Up Your Shakespeare.”
Kiss Me, Kate also features Corbin Bleu as Lucentio/Bill Calhoun, Stephanie Styles as Lois Lane/Bianca, Adrienne Walker as Hattie, James T. Lane as Paul, Terence Archie as Harrison Howell, Mel Johnson Jr. as Harry Trevor/Baptista, and Lance Coadie Williams and John Pankow as the Gangsters. The Kiss Me, Kate ensemble features Darius Barnes, Preston Truman Boyd, Will Burton, Derrick Cobey, Jesmille Darbouze, Rick Faugno, Haley Fish, Tanya Haglund, Erica Mansfield, Marissa McGowan, Sarah Meahl, Justin Prescott, Christine Cornish Smith, Sherisse Springer, Sam Strasfeld, and Travis Waldschmidt.
The creative team for Kiss Me, Kate is comprised of Paul Gemignani (music direction), Larry Hochman (orchestrations), David Chase (dance arrangements), David Rockwell (scenic design), Jeff Mahshie (costume design), Donald Holder (lighting design), Brian Ronan (sound design), and David Brian Brown (hair and wig design).
Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals, The Disney Song Encyclopedia, and The Encyclopedia of Television Theme Songs. He maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.