Flashback from 2001: Kiss Me, Kate Los Angeles Opening Night Red Carpet Arrivals

News   Flashback from 2001: Kiss Me, Kate Los Angeles Opening Night Red Carpet Arrivals
Kiss Me, Kate with Rex Smith and Rachel York as the egotistical, feuding leads, opened their lengthy Los Angeles stay August 24, 2001 at the Shubert Theatre. Here's a look at the star-studded opening night arrivals.

Smith, who played reluctant pirate Frederick in both the stage and movie versions of Joseph Papp's pop and popular Pirates of Penzance, was Fred Graham, an actor with an eye for the ladies and a sharp tongue for his ex-wife. York, who came to the fore in City of Angels and later won a Drama Desk Award as Best Featured Actress in Victor/Victoria, played Lilli, who has a love-hate relationship with her ex-hubby, played by Smith. Sparks fly as Fred and Lilli star opposite one another in a musical version of The Taming of the Shrew in the classic backstage show by Cole Porter and Samuel and Bella Spewack. Michael Blakemore and Kathleen Marshall recreated their Broadway revival direction and choreography, respectively, for the road.

Smith and York had a hate-hate relationship in their previous teaming: He was the malevolent Chauvelin and she his former squeeze, Marguerite, in The Scarlet Pimpernel on Broadway. The cast of the touring company included Nancy Anderson (A Class Act) as Lois/Bianca, Jim Newman (Minnelli on Minnelli, Steel Pier) as Bill/Lucentio, Michael Arkin as Second Man, Susan Beaubian as Hattie, Randy Donaldson as Paul, Herman Petras as Harry Trevor/Baptista, Richard Poe as First Man and Chuck Wagner (Into the Woods) as Harrison Howell.

The ensemble of the national tour included John D. Baker, Tina Marie Casamento, Laura Marie Crosta, John Treacy Egan, Juliet Fischer, Ivy Fox, Keith Howard, Michael Lackey, Rachel Lafer, Kevin B. McGlynn, Carol Lee Meadows, Kimberly Dawn Newumann, Stephen Reed, Marci Reid, Jody Reynard, Rommy Sandhu, Margaret Shafer, Steven Sofia, Matthew J. Vargo and Carmen Yurich.

The classic 1948 score by Porter includes such gems as "So in Love," "Too Darn Hot," "Another Openin', Another Show," "Wunderbar," "Always True to You in My Fashion," "Brush Up Your Shakespeare" and "Why Can't You Behave?" "From This Moment on" were interpolated into the revival.

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