Kiss Me, Kate, Helmed by Tony-Winning Director, Begins in Connecticut Tonight | Playbill

News Kiss Me, Kate, Helmed by Tony-Winning Director, Begins in Connecticut Tonight Hartford Stage's production of Cole Porter's Kiss Me, Kate begins performances May 14. The staging reunites Darko Tresnjak, the Tony-winning director of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder and artistic director of Hartford Stage, with Gentleman's choreographer Peggy Hickey, set designer Alexander Dodge and lighting designer Philip Rosenberg.

The show is a co-production with the Old Globe in San Diego and continues performances through June 13. Opening night is scheduled for May 20.

"I started thinking about directing Kiss Me, Kate in 1990, when the influential album 'Red, Hot, and Blue: A Tribute to Cole Porter' introduced his smart and sexy music to a whole new generation," said Tresnjak in an earlier press statement. "After 25 years, I'm thrilled to finally get a chance to direct this supreme entertainment—a piece in which my two great theatrical passions, the plays of William Shakespeare and the American musical theatre, come together."

Anastasia Barzee
Anastasia Barzee

Porter's classic, high-spirited musical comedy Kiss Me, Kate first opened on Broadway in 1948; it features a book by Bella and Sam Spewack and music and lyrics by Porter. The original Broadway production ran for over 1,000 performances and won the first Tony Award for Best Musical. The story follows the backstage antics of a touring company performing The Taming of the Shrew, including two feuding couples and some gangster warfare.

The cast includes Brendan Averett (The Killer), Anastasia Barzee (Urinetown), Joel Blum (Show Boat), Giovanni Bonaventura (Cinderella), Robert Hannon Davis (A Christmas Carol—A Ghost Story of Christmas), Charity Angel Dawson (Side Show), Tyler Hanes (A Chorus Line), James T. Lane (The Scottsboro Boys), Barrett Martin (Side Show), Robin Masella (Chicago), Mike McGowan (Priscilla, Queen of the Desert ), Shina Ann Morris (Cinderella), Jane Papageorge (Hair), Wayne W. Pretlow (The Most Happy Fella), Megan Sikora (Curtains), Michael Starr (Guys and Dolls), Jeff Steitzer (The Front Page), Johnny Stellard (Evita ) and Nick Wyman (Phantom of the Opera).

The creative team also includes Kris Kukul as music director, Fabio Toblini as costume designer and Jonathan Deans as sound designer. For more information visit HartfordStage

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