Me Kate” -- Entertaining and Vivacious!

Published: Thursday, September 26, 2013 7:00 am By: Camille Kaiser Source: CUE

“Taming of the Shrew” and their off-stage lives. It follows two main characters, the divorced actors Lilli Vanessa and Fred Graham, playing the roles of Katherine and Petruchio. Under the direction of James Brennan, the comedy evolves as wesee the conflict that exists between the two of them both on and off the set with peppery battle-of-the-sexes banter. Add to this some of Cole Porter’s most memorable tunes, “Another Op’nin’, Another Show,” “Too Darn Hot”, “Wunderbar”, under the capable music direction of Leo P. Carusone, and what you have is a most enjoyable, nostalgic, fun-filled evening.

William Michaels as Fred/Petruchio is impressive with his big voice and comedic talent. He dominates the stage with his masculine presence while at times showing his vulnerable side, making his character likeable in spite of his ego. Christianne Tisdale is excellent as Lilli/Kate, swooning at the right moments, clamorous during the rest, and bites out 'I Hate Men' with conviction. Missy Dowse as Lois and Brian
as Bill make a charming couple and delight the audience with their numbers “Why Can’t you Behave” and “Always True to You (in My Fashion)”.

James Van Treuren as Baptista plays a convincing Shakespearean actor with just the right dose of humor.   Michael Kubala and Michael J. Farina were delightful as the gangsters who, while attempting to collect a
debt from Fred on behalf of their boss, become enamored with theater and are a humerous highlight with their antics and dance to “Brush Up Your Shakespeare”. The “Taming of the Shrew” players and the ensemble were supple and energetic and certainly did justice to James Brennan’s athletic choreography.

Kudos to set designer John Farrell, lighting designer Andrew Gmoser and costume designer Derek Lockwood who provided the finishing touches to this flashy, splashy, bright and colorful production.


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