The San Marcos High School’s Performing Arts Department will present the 2000 revival of Cole Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate at 7 p.m. May 3-5 and 10-12 in the campus auditorium, 4750 Hollister Ave.
This production includes all of your favorite songs from the original show, like “Another Op’nin’ Another Show,” “Too Darn Hot” and “Brush Up Your Shakespeare,” and includes “Cantiamo D’Amore” and “From This Moment On.” Kiss Me, Kate is directed by David Holmes with vocal direction by Carolyn Teraoka-Brady and conducted by Michael Kiyoi. Sets and lighting are designed by Theodore Michael Dolas, costumes by Marian Azdril and choreography by Lyndsey Gallagher.
Kiss Me, Kate is a classic show within a show about a theater company trying out a new musical based on William Shakespeare’s The Taming of The Shrew. Frederic C. Graham, played by David Childs, is the producer, director and star of the show who is reunited with his ex-wife, Lilli Vanessi, played by Kelly Noe, as the shrewish Katherine. The on-again/off-again nature of their relationship off the stage is perfect for the love/hate relationship between their Shakespearean counterparts, Petruchio and Katherine. Just as Petruchio admits in the song, “I’ve Come To Wive It Wealthily in Padua,” Fred needs Lilli’s star power to ensure his production’s success. Their love for one another is rekindled in the song, “So In Love,” but it is short-lived when Lilli discovers that Fred has also been involved with Lois Lane, played by Emily Libera, who has been given her first big break in the role of Katherine’s younger sister, Bianca.
The discovery of Fred’s two-timing leads to hilarity as Lilli seeks her revenge on stage in front of a live audience. Lilli threatens to leave the show in the middle of opening night and Fred is reduced to desperate measures to keep her there.
The young ingénue, Lois Lane, swears her love to Bill Calhoun, played by Jason Haws, a chronic gambler who plays Bianca’s love interest, Lucentio, in Shrew but warns him about his gambling in the song, “Why Can’t You Behave?” Bill reveals he has just signed an IOU for $10,000 to the mob to cover his loses but he signed it as Frederic C. Graham!
Mr. Hogan sends two of his finest mobsters, played by Carter Boden and Isaac Wright, to collect the “debt of honor” from Graham, who, of course, denies the IOU. The mobsters attend the opening performance and pay another visit to Graham at intermission. By this time Lilli is threatening to leave the show and calls her fiancé, Gen. Harrison Howell, a Gen. Douglas MacArthur-type ex-military man played by Paul Zink, to rescue her. Thinking quickly, Fred convinces the two mobsters to “escort” Lilli through the opening week of the show in order to raise the money to cover “his” debt.
The two mobsters gain an appreciation of Shakespeare and sing the hit song, “Brush Up Your Shakespeare,” to the delight of the audience. Chaos ensues with the arrival of Gen. Howell and Lilli is forced to choose between the theater and Fred, who she loves, and her final role as the wife of the general with political aspirations.
Kiss Me, Kate plays for two weekends only and tickets are available at the box office or click here to purchase them online. Don’t miss this classic of the American musical theater. The music and lyrics are by Cole Porter and the book is by Sam and Bella Spewack. Brush up your Shakespeare and come support San Marcos High School Performing Arts.
— David Holmes is chairman of San Marcos High School’s Performing Arts Department.