Doyle's Broadway productions of Sweeney Todd (for which he won a Tony for Direction) and Company (which won the Best Revival Tony) employed actors who also doubled as the orchestra, acting with instruments in hand. That's not the case with Stratford's large-cast Kiss Me, Kate, which will officially open June 8 at the flagship Festival Theatre for a run (in rep with other shows) to Oct. 30 in Stratford, ON.
Doyle is making his Stratford debut with the musical comedy about backstage romance during a musical production of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. The libretto is by Sam and Bella Spewack. The Porter score includes "So In Love," "Too Darn Hot" and "Brush Up Your Shakespeare."
Monique Lund plays temperamental Hollywood actress Lilli Vanessi, who stars as Katherine in the musical; Juan Chioran plays Vanessi's loud-mouthed ex-husband Fred Graham, who doubles as Petruchio and the director of the show within the show.
Choreographed by Tracey Flye and under the musical direction of Franklin Brasz, Kiss Me, Kate has a cast that also includes Jordan Bell, Naomi Costain, Stephen Cota, Lindsay Croxall, Keisha T. Fraser, Nicko Giannakos, Kyle Golemba, Eran Goodyear, Douglas E. Hughes, Mike Jackson, Chilina Kennedy, Lorena Mackenzie, Josie Marasco, Jennifer Rider-Shaw, Steve Ross, Cliff Saunders, Jaz Sealey, Julius Sermonia, Vince Staltari, Kristian Truelsen, Rudy Webb and Josh Young.
The 2010 Stratford Shakespeare Festival runs April 10-Oct. 31 and features As You Like It; Kiss Me, Kate; The Tempest; Dangerous Liaisons; Evita; Peter Pan; The Winter's Tale; Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris; For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again; Do Not Go Gentle; The Two Gentlemen of Verona; and King of Thieves.
For more information, visit www.stratfordfestival.ca.