Have Tri-State area high school kids been brushing up their Shakespeare? They'll get a chance to start quoting him now when Michael Mulheren, who plays one of the gangsters in Broadway's Kiss Me, Kate, hosts a special "National Theatre in Our Schools" event March 9.
Held at the Martin Beck Theatre, the event will have 12 schools from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut performing scenes or songs from either Kiss Me, Kate or The Taming of the Shrew. Amy Spanger, Michael Berresse and other Kate cast members are expected to attend the morning presentations, which will feature a panel of artists and educators. The 10 AM event is presented by the Educational Theatre Association, American Alliance for Theatre and Camp Broadway.
The set-up will be not be in a contest format, a spokesperson told Playbill On-Line (March 7). "There's no definite `winner.' It's about the doing the work. And all the participants will get commemorative gift bags from Kiss Me, Kate."
In other Kiss Me, Kate news, Jan. 25, DRG Records released the show's cast album. Brian Stokes Mitchell and Marin Mazzie star in the current revival at the Martin Beck Theatre, and sing on the disc with the company. The Michael Blakemore-directed revival has new orchestrations by Don Sebesky and dance arrangements by David Chase. The disc includes hits of the 1948 score, with classics such as "Another Op'nin', Another Show," "Too Darn Hot," "So In Love," "Why Can't You Behave?," "Always True To You in My Fashion," "Wunderbar," "Brush Up Your Shakespeare," plus a reworked "I Sing of Love," heard in the revival as "Cantiamo D'Amore." The disc does not include the revival's one interpolation, "From This Moment On," sung by Ron Holgate and Marin Mazzie, which means the original (if newly musical-arranged) score is reflected on the disc. Unlike the original cast album and show, the overture of the revival is weaved into "Another Op'nin'."
The new cast recording is produced by Hugh Fordin and co-produced by Paul Gemignani and Don Sebesky.
It was not immediately clear if this revised version of Kate (with changes made by an uncredited John Guare) will be offered to stock and amateur companies in the future, but Lois Reader Elias, of the estate of librettists Sam and Bella Spewack, told Playbill On-Line that the classic version will continue to be part of the literature of theatres around the world.