Liz Smith's column reported March 29 that "NYPD Blue" star Sharon Lawrence has been offered the role of vampy Lois in the upcoming Broadway revival of Kiss Me, Kate, scheduled for Broadway in fall 1999.
The column, written by Denis Ferrara and Diane Judge for a vacationing Liz Smith, reported that the show, set in the late 1940s, is being slightly updated. In the backstage musical, about a troupe putting a musical version of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, Lawrence would play the dual roles of modern actress Lois Lane (singing "Why Can't You Behave" and "Always True to You in My Fashion") and Shakespeare's Bianca (singing "Tom, Dick or Harry").
Lawrence, who opens April 4 in the Public Theater's Tongue of a Bird, told the column she was previously seen in New York in Zorba, Fiddler on the Roof and Cabaret and went west to TV with the hope that she would become a more marketable stage actress.
Roger Berlind, Scott Rudin and Roger Horchow are producing the musical, planned for fall 1999. There is no casting confirmation yet, but the theatre community is buzzing about the possibility of Marin Mazzie and Brian Stokes Mitchell, Mother and Coalhouse of Ragtime, re-teaming to play Fred and Lili in the backstage musical romance.
Director Blakemore's musical projects have included The Life and City of Angels. He also directed Noises Off, Joe Egg and Lettice & Lovage for Broadway and Death Defying Acts Off Broadway.
Marshall is known as artistic director of the popular "Encores!" musical theatre concert series. In February, she staged Rodgers and Hart's Babes in Arms for "Encores!" On Broadway, Marshall choreographed 1776 and Swinging on a Star.
Kiss Me, Kate was Porter's greatest triumph and his most fully integrated book musical, coming late in his career after hits in the 1920s and 1930s with Paris, Fifty Million Frenchmen, Jubilee and Anything Goes.
The musical tells of the tempestuous relationship between estranged Fred and Lili, touring in a musical version of The Taming of the Shrew, and the secondary leads, Bill and Lois, on the rocks because of his gambling habit and her wandering eye.
Songs from the score include "Why Can't You Behave?," "Wunderbar," "Another Openin', Another Show," "So in Love," "Were Thine That Special Face," "Too Darn Hot," "Where Is The Life That Late I Led?," "Always True to You in My Fashion" and "Brush Up Your Shakespeare."
The 1953 film version interpolated the song, "From This Moment On," cut from Porter's Out of This World. A song called "We Shall Never Be Younger" was written for Kiss Me, Kate but went unused. The tune has been heard in cabarets and in the revue, Cole.