Four American musical stars will head the London cast of Michael Blakemore's production of Kiss Me Kate, which opens at the Victoria Palace Theatre on Oct. 30. Brent Barrett will play Fred Graham/Petruchio, Marin Mazzie Lilli Vanessi/Katharine, Michael Berresse Bill Calhoun/Lucentio and Nancy Anderson Lois Lane/Bianca.
This production opened in November 1999 at the Martin Beck Theatre in New York and has won five Tony Awards, six Drama Desk Awards and four Outer Critics' Circle Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical in all three.
Michael Blakemore won both the Tony and Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Direction of a Musical.
Marin Mazzie has played starring roles in Broadway musicals including Ragtime, Passion and Into the Woods, and she created the role of Lilli Vanessi in this production of Kiss Me Kate, for which she won the Outer Critics' Circle Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical and was nominated for a Tony Award. Michael Berresse has also starred in many Broadway productions including Chicago, Damn Yankees and Guys and Dolls, and he created the role of Bill Calhoun in this production of Kiss Me Kate.
The West End production will be staged by the entire original Broadway creative team. It has music and lyrics by Cole Porter and a book by Sam & Bella Spewack.
The musical comedy concerns two gangsters who are dispatched to extract a debt from the leading man of a musical version of The Taming of the Shrew. They arrive on its First Night, in the middle of a blazing row between the show's stars, and end up on stage singing "Brush Up Your Shakespeare."
The show is currently booking until Feb. 9, 2002.