Kiss Me Kate

Presented by Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Victoria (2-5 May, Alexander Theatre, Clayton), Kiss Me, Kate is the Tony Award-winning 1940s musical comedy from Cole Porter (Anything Goes, Fifty Million Frenchmen) with a score of witty, hummable hits paired with ridiculous Shakespearean antics from Sam and Bella Spewack (Leave It To Me!, My Three Angels).
The battle of the sexes takes centre stage as former spouses, leading lady Lilli Vanessi, and her ex-husband, actor/director Fred Graham, feud onstage and off during a musical presentation of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. On opening night, the rekindling of their affection is complicated by misguided flirtations, romantic discord, gambling debts, singing gangsters, and other enjoyable backstage shenanigans.
Kiss Me, Kate combines the irreverent and bawdy humour of four magnificent writers: William Shakespeare, Sam and Bella Spewack (Tony Award for Best Author – Musical, 1948) and Cole Porter (Tony Award for Best Musical, 1948) with memorable musical numbers spanning a variety of music genres including “So In Love,” “Wunderbar,” “Tom, Dick or Harry,” “Too Darn Hot,” “Brush Up Your Shakespeare,” “I Hate Men,” “Always True to You (In My Fashion)” and “Another Op’nin, Another Show.”
Kiss Me, Kate made its Broadway debut in 1948 and won five Tony Awards, including the first award for Best Musical. The musical was revived on Broadway in 1999 and won five Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical.
The show was inspired by real life, legendary Broadway husband-and-wife actors Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne. Broadway producer Saint Subber observed their on-and-off stage disputes during their 1935 production of The Taming of the Shrew. More than a decade later he approached husband and wife team Sam and Bella Spewack, who were facing their own marital difficulties, to write the show. Bella started the project solo, but eventually enlisted Sam’s help and they finished the book together.
Bookings: Tickets:

You have only to listen to Porter’s score — a swoon-worthy progression of deftly shifting rhythms and sophisticated rhymes and musical motifs — to understand the show’s timeless charm.” Peter Marks, The Washington Post

Kiss Me, Kate is presented by arrangement with ORiGiN™ Theatrical on behalf of Tams-Witmark LLC, A Concord Theatricals Company.

Where: Alexander Theatre (Monash University), Clayton.

When: Thu 2 May–Sun 5 May. Evenings 7.30pm. Matinee 2pm on Saturday
About Chris Gray 14 Articles
Chris’s first opus: ‘I must not throw stones at the teacher’ won the Miles Franklin Award for Excellence. In 2006 ‘The Runes of Arkhan’ was published. He now writes regularly for The Burwood Bulletin.