North Shore Kicks Off 50th Season with Cole Porter's Kiss Me, Kate

News   North Shore Kicks Off 50th Season with Cole Porter's Kiss Me, Kate
The 2004 North Shore Music Theatre season kicks off April 27 with the classic Cole Porter musical Kiss Me, Kate.
Cole Porter
Cole Porter

With an official opening set for April 29, the musical comedy based on Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew will play through May 16. George Dvorsky stars 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, is Lois Lane/Bianca, and Saturday Night Fever's Sean Palmer is Bill Calhoun/Lucentio. David Coffee, who has appeared in several North Shore productions, plays 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, 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 recent 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 North Shore mounting of Kiss Me, Kate features 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 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. Kiss Me, Kate plays Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8 PM with Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 PM. Tickets for the production are available by calling the theatre's box office at (978) 232 7200 or by going on-line to The North Shore Music Theatre is located in Beverly, MA at 62 Dunham Road.

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