Cole Porter's "Kiss Me Kate" Bows In At Westchester Broadway Theatre With None of Its Charm Lost
Published: Monday, September 23, 2013 7:00 am
"Kiss Me Kate," the enduring Cole Porter play-within-a-play, opened this week at the Westchester Broadway Theatre in Elmsford and it is a joy to watch.
Revivals of this 65-year-old Broadway bright light have been staged in recent years and a 1953 movie version, starring Howard Keel and Kathryn Grayson, still appears occasionally on the television screen. Many in the WBT audience last night probably had seen Kiss Me Kate at least once before. But with such hit songs and a remarkable score, it is no wonder theater-goers will come to see this musical again. Kiss Me Kate debuted on Broadway in December, 1948 starring Alfred Drake, Patricia Morison, Lisa Kirk, and Harold Lang. It ran for 1070 performances and captured five Tony awards.
he play revolves around a divorced couple who battle offstage and on as they perform in a musical adaption of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew.
Songs in this show include:
• Another Op'nin', Another Show
• Why Can't You Behave
• So in Love
• We Open in Venice
• Tom, Dick or Harry
• I Hate Men
• Too Darned Hot
• Where is the Life That Late I Led
• Always True To You In My Fashion
• From This Moment On
• So in Love
• Brush Up Your Shakespeare
"So in Love," is sung in the first act by Christianne Tisdale (playing Lilli Vanessi) and by William Michals (playing Fred Graham) in the second act. The song was a huge hit in its day and was recorded by many leading vocalists including Patti Page, Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, Gordon MacRae and Dinah Shore.
Tisdale and Michals, both with long and impressive acting credentials, are convincing as the warring couple and are supported by a hard-working cast who execute many numbers such as "We Open in Venice" with zeal and fervor.
Some critic haves overlooked "We Open in Venice" in commenting about this play but its catchy repetitive lines keep echoing through my head.
The two gangsters, Michael Kubala and Michael J. Farina, aren't quite show stealers but they do contribute strongly to the fun. If you haven't seen this show or the movie or even if you have, don't miss this WBT revival. It runs until November 3.
Kiss Me Kate will be followed by Irving Berlin's White Christmas (from November 7, 2013 to January 5, 2014).