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St. Augustine's Musical Theatre Company

The UK Midlands' Award Winning Premier Local Theatre Company - Entertaining for 50 Years - 1974 to 2024

Kiss Me, Kate
Performances: 18 to 22 November 2014
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Performances - 18 to 22 November 2014

Based on William Shakespeare's
The Taming of the Shrew, Kiss Me, Kate follows the fortunes and mishaps of a travelling group of theatrical players. The lyrics and music were written by Cole Porter and contain such wonderful numbers as Wunderbar, Another Openin', Another Show, Too Darn Hot, Brush Up Your Shakespeare and many more.
The plot is based around the production of a musical version of
The Taming of the Shrew and the conflict on and offstage between Fred Graham, the show's director and star and his movie-star ex-wife, Lilli Vanessi. The two are divorced from each other but find themselves playing Katherine and Petruchio, the leads in the show.
Unfortunately their fighting leads to
near disaster for the opening night and added to this Fred/Petruchio is mistaken for a man who owes a debt. Enter gangsters who shadow him in order to retrieve the money for their boss. Another couple, younger players, are Lois and Bill. It is Bill who is actually in trouble with money due to gambling debts. A fuller synopsis can be found lower down on this page.

With a
large cast and such wonderful songs, it is an evening of colour and fun. The show has won many awards over the years both here and on Broadway. This was a great show for our 40th Anniversary Year.

Auditions for Kiss Me, Kate were held on Sunday 27 April 2014. Thanks to all who came to audition. Casting is as follows:

Ben Field played Fred Graham/Petruchio, Chloe Rawson played Lilli Vanessi/Katherine. Bill Calhoun/Lucentio was played by Gavin Whichello and Lois Lane/Bianca by Gemma Smyth.

More casting can be found over to the right.

“Brilliant show! Very professional, with strong characters and lots of humour. This was the first night so it'll probably get even better!”

“…you were fantastic... Great character work well done.”

“Top notch first night performance of Kiss Me, Kate at Solihull Arts Complex. Well done St Augustine's MTC.”

“Saw the opening night last night and it was absolutely fantastic. A must see!”

“Enjoying a night at the theatre watching ‘Kiss Me, Kate’….Great show!”

“Congratulations STAG, a really lively and funny show with the excellent standard of performance that you always give.”

“Great performances from cast & orchestra tonight of ‘Kiss Me, Kate. Thank you .”

“Congratulations on such an excellent performance tonight. It was a truly awesome production. The opening number of the second act took my breath away. Orchestration and vocals were excellent, choreography dynamic and all the cast were awesome.”
KISS ME, KATE was originally produced in 1948 and has been considered one of Broadway's treasures. It was revived in 1999, taking advantage of new technology in music and keeping in mind evolving social values. In the Revised Version all the basic music material for the show was taken back to the fundamentals of its melody, harmony and rhythm, and a new score was written. All seventeen of the original songs are present in the revised score, and the song From This Moment On from Porter's OUT OF THIS WORLD as well as from the 1953 film version of KISS ME, KATE has been added. The book was carefully refined, not changed, for the new version. The character Harrison Howell has become a General with political ambitions, and adds some topical humor from the exact period of the show to the Revised Version.

Another Op'nin' Another Show welcomes you to Baltimore and to the opening of a musical version of Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew." The cast of the play is on stage and receiving final instructions from Fred Graham, the director. A play-within-a-play unfolds, where each of the four main cast members' on-stage performance is complicated by what is happening in his off-stage life. Fred takes the roles of director and male lead, Petruchio. His ex-wife Lilli, now a movie star with a reputation for being difficult to work with, plays Katharine, the shrew. Fred's current love interest, Lois, plays the role of Bianca, and the other man in Lois' life, Bill, plays the role of Lucentio.

Before the curtain rises on "The Shrew" we find out that Bill has a gambling problem. He tells Lois that he signed a $10,000 IOU for a debt in Fred's name, instead of using his own name. Not long after Lois begs Bill to stop gambling, two thugs show up at the theatre to make it clear that Bill will have to make good on that IOU. But they confront Fred instead of Bill, since Fred's name is on the gambling debt. Lois asks Bill
Why Can't You Behave? Fred and Lilli reminisce nostalgically about their other performances together, and their warm feelings for each other return -Wunderbar. When flowers sent by Fred to Lois mistakenly get delivered to Lilli, Lilli falls even more deeply in love with Fred - So in Love.

We are brought into Shakespeare's world with
We Open in Venice. It is not long before we are told that Lucentio (Bill) may not marry his love Bianca (Lois), until Bianca's older sister Katharine (Lilli) the shrew is married off. Bianca enjoys flirting with her gentlemen callers in Tom, Dick or Harry. Fortunately for Bianca and Lucentio, Petruchio (Fred) comes to town looking for a wealthy wife and is not scared off by Katharine. Petruchio explains his goal in I've Come to Wive It Wealthily in Padua and Katharine makes her feelings clear in I Hate Men. Lilli finally discovers that the flowers Fred sent her were actually intended for Lois, and we hear her shriek in outrage from offstage. In Were Thine That Special Face Petruchio sings of his strong feelings for Katharine. Lilli threatens to walk out of the show, but is forced to stay. Fred convinces the two gangsters that he will be able to pay them the money he allegedly owes them, if they can make sure Lilli continues to play her role. The gangsters put on costumes and become part of the cast of "The Shrew" to stay close to Lilli. Lilli uses her anger toward Fred to express herself as Katharine for the rest of the show. Fred is forced to get tough with Katharine as he plays Petruchio. Kiss Me, Kate closes the first act.

The second act opens with
Too Darn Hot, which gives the cast a chance to relax outside the theatre during intermission. Back at "The Shrew" Petruchio marries Katharine, and already misses his relatively peaceful single life in Where Is the Life That Late I Led? Lois and Bill sing of their relationship in Always True to You (In My Fashion) and then Bill sings Bianca. When the gangsters call their boss to 'check in,' they find out that the boss has been killed. This makes Bill's IOU worthless, so the gangsters can leave. Lilli takes the opportunity to walk off the show, and leaves with her dependable fiance Harrison, as Fred reprises So in Love. The gangsters get caught up in the limelight and pay an unusual tribute to Shakespeare in Brush Up Your Shakespeare. Bianca and Lucentio are finally married. As "The Taming of the Shrew" comes to a close, Lilli unexpectedly returns to the stage, and in Katharine's words expresses her intention of returning to Fred -I Am Ashamed That Women Are So Simple. Lilli and Fred are reunited, and Lois and Bill are together.
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Kiss Me, Kate - Flyer Front
(click image to enlarge - right click to download)
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Kiss Me, Kate - Flyer Back (Ticket Booking Form)
(click image to enlarge - right click to download)
Kiss Me, Kate in Performance - 2014

Gremio (Kieran Corrigan, Fred/Petruchio (Ben Field), Hortensio (Ed Mears) and the Company

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The Company


'Another Op'nin', Another Show'

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Fred/Petruchio (Ben Field), Lilli/Katherine (Chloe Rawson) and the Company


'Cantiamo D'Amore'

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'Too Darn Hot'


Lilli/Katherine (Chloe Rawson) and Paul (Guy Dowling)

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Fred/Petruchio (Ben Field), Lilli/Katherine (Chloe Rawson), The Two Men (David Smith and Kerem Ozbas) and General Harrison Howell (Mark Hughes)

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Bill Calhoun/Lucentio (Gavin Whichello) and the Female Ensemble

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The Two Men (David Smith and Kerem Ozbas)

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