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Cover to Film Soundtrack recordingKiss Me Kate

music and lyrics by Cole Porter: Book by Bella and Samuel Spewack

New Century Theatre Broadway 30 December, 1948 (1077 perfs)
London Coliseum 8 March, 1951 (501 perfs)

The great Cole Porter poured a huge amount of his best music into Kiss Me Kate. The score scintillates with hits like "Wunderbar", "Always True To You In My Fashion", "Why Can't You Behave", "Too Darned Hot" ..... a great stream of lovely melody allied to words by the wittiest lyricist America ever produced.


A musical version of "The Taming of the Shrew" is about to open in Baltimore. In the show with producer- actor Fred Graham are his former wife, Lilli; Lois, a singer in whom he is interested; and Bill Calhoune, who is Lois's interest. The irresponsible Bill informs Lois that he has signed Fred's name to a 10,000 dollar IOU for gambling debts. She begs him to reform. Fred and Lilli patch up their differences as they reminisce nostalgically about other shows in which they have appeared together. Fred sends a bouquet to Lois, which is delivered in error to Lilli. On stage as Katherina, Lilli discovers that the bouquet was meant for Lois and threatens to leave the show. Her departure is prevented by two gangsters who have come to collect the IOU with Fred's signature. As the first Act ends she is raging, both in character and reality.

Petruchio ( played by Fred Graham) although just married to Katherina, and beginning his tempestuous wedded life, begins to yearn for his life as a single man. Because of a sudden change in gang administration the gangsters tear up the now worthless IOU and Lilli prepares to walk out on the show as Fred muses on his love for her. They gangsters sing the always show-stopping Brush Up YOur Shakespeare. As the show comes to close, Lilli unexpectedly returns and in Katherina's words expresses her intention of returning to her husband.


Male - 11 Female - 4 (Taming of the Shrew players in parenthesis)

Fred Graham (Petruchio)
Harry Trevor (Baptista)
Lois Lane (Bianca)
Lilli Vanessi (Katharine)
Bill Calhoun (Lucentio)
First Man
Second Man
Stage Doorman
Harrison Howell

Specialty dancers, singing ensemble, dancing ensemble

"Taming of the Shrew" Players


Musical Numbers:

Always True to You in My Fashion
Another Op'nin', Another Show
Brush Up Your Shakespeare
I Am Ashamed that Women are So Simple
I Hate Men
I Sing Of Love
I'm Afraid
I've Come to Wive It Wealthily in Padua
Kiss me Kate
So in Love
Tom, Dick or Harry
Too Darn Hot
We Open In Venice
Were Thine That Special Face
Where Is the Life that Late I Led?
Why Can't You Behave?

Synopsis of Scenes

Act I

Scene 1: Stage of the Ford Theatre, Baltimore
Scene 2: The corridor, backstage
Scene 3: Dressing rooms of Lilli Vanessi and Fred Graham
Scene 4: Padua
Scene 5: Street scene, Padua
Scene 6: Backstage
Scene 7: Dressing rooms of Lilli Vanessi and Fred Graham
Scene 8: The Church

Act II

Scene 1: The stage door alley
Scene 2: Before the curtain
Scene 3: Petruchio's kitchen
Scene 4: The corridor, backstage
Scene 5: Dressing rooms of Lilli Vanessi and Fred Graham
Scene 6: The corridor, backstage
Scene 7: Before the safety curtain
Scene 8: Baptista's home


Violin 1 & 2: Cello: Bass: Reed 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5: Horn: Trumpet 1, 2 & 3: Trombone: Percussion: Harp: Piano Celeste: Guitar

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