As previously announced, George Dvorsky will star as Fred Graham opposite Nine's Rachel deBenedet as Lilli Vanessi/Katharine Minola. Deborah Leamy, who has appeared on Broadway in Never Gonna Dance and Sweet Smell of Success, will be Lois Lane/Bianca, and Saturday Night Fever's Sean Palmer will play Bill Calhoun/Lucentio. David Coffee, who has appeared in several North Shore productions, will play one of the Shakespeare-loving gangsters. The remainder of the cast includes Sarah Anderson, Edward M. Barker, Jeremy Davis, Dick Decareau, David Dollase, Paul Farwell, Liane Grasso, Brian Kremer, Michael McCoy, Erich McMillan McCall, Patrick Mullaney, Carolyn Ockert-Haythe, Steven Petrillo, Ami Price, Christine Reeds, Carolyn Saxon, Melissa Swender, James Van Trueren, Patrick Wetzel and Jessica Wright.
North Shore's Artistic Director Jon Kimbell said in a statement, "Kiss Me, Kate is a Broadway legend that's as witty and fresh today as it ever was. I can't think of a better way to open our 50th musical season, than with the same show that opened North Shore Music Theatre in 1955. Though he wrote the scores for many shows such as Anything Goes, Can-Can and Silk Stockings, Kiss Me, Kate is simply Cole Porter at his best."
The upcoming mounting of Kiss Me, Kate will feature the Tony-winning costumes designed by Martin Pakledinaz for the 2000 Broadway revival. The remainder of the North Shore creative team includes Alan Coats (director), Tony Geralis (musical director), Lee Wilkins (choreographer), Tal Sanders (scenic designer), David R. Zyla (additional costumes), David Neville (lighting designer), Gerard Kelly (wig designer), John A. Stone (sound designer), Eric E. Hedblom (production stage manager) and Matt Schreiber (casting director).
Loosely based on Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew, Kiss Me, Kate originally opened at Broadway's New Century Theatre on Dec. 30, 1948. Featuring a score by Cole Porter and a book by Samuel and Bella Spewack, Kate ran 1,077 performances. The original cast included Alfred Drake, Patricia Morison, Lisa Kirk and Harold Lang. The classic Porter score includes such tunes as "Another Op'nin', Another Show," "Too Darn Hot," "Wunderbar," "So in Love," "Always True to You in My Fashion," "Brush Up Your Shakespeare," "Why Can't You Behave?,""We Open in Venice," "Tom, Dick or Harry," "I Hate Men" and "Where Is the Life that Late I Led?" The recent Tony-winning revival of the musical played 881 performances at the Martin Beck Theatre, Nov. 1999-Dec. 2001; Marin Mazzie and Brian Stokes Mitchell co-starred.