The 78-minute version of the musical was originally captured for a Hallmark Hall of Fame on Nov. 20, 1958. Tony Award winner George Schaefer (The Royal Family) produced and directed the television production, which was musical directed by two-time Tony winner Franz Allers (Brigadoon, Plain and Fancy, Camelot).
In addition to Drake as Fred/Petruchio and Morison as Lilli/Katharine, the televised production features Tony winner Julie Wilson as Lois/Bianca and Lorenzo Fuller as Paul. Fuller originated the role on Broadway, while Wilson originated the role in the Chicago production and briefly appeared in the Broadway company.
The cast also includes Bill Hayes as Bill Calhoun, Harvey Lembeck as "First Gunman," Jack Klugman as "Second Gunman," Paul McGrath as Harrison Howell, Robinson Stone as Harry Trevor/Baptista, Lee Cass as Gremio, Jerry Duane as Hortensio, Eva Jessye as Hattie and Lee Richardson as Ralph.
Many of the songs are preserved in this version, including "Another Op'nin'," "Why Can't You Behave?," "Wunderbar," "So In Love," "Tom, Dick or Harry," "Kiss Me, Kate," "Where Is The Life That Late I Led?," "Always True to You," "Brush Up Your Shakespeare," and "I Am Ashamed That Women Are So Simple."
Kiss Me, Kate has a book by Sam and Bella Spewack and a score by Porter. The original production opened on Broadway Dec. 30, 1948 and ran for 1,077 performances. It earned Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Author and Best Composer and Lyricist.