Kiss Me Kate (2002)


William Shakespeare’s quintessential battle of the sexes, The Taming of the Shrew, is the cornerstone of this delightful 1948 musical by Cole Porter, which enjoyed a recent hit revival on Broadway. Just as Shakespeare’s Kate and Petrucchio battle it out in a war of wits during one of literature’s most bizarre courtships, Fred Graham and Lilli Vanessi, a divorced couple bringing Shakespeare’s characters to life in the musical version of Shrew, bicker constantly backstage in a war of words that rivals the efforts of their onstage roles! Set in a theatre in 1940’s Baltimore, Kiss Me, Kate follows the progress of this most unromantic romance, as well as the progress of the show for which Fred serves as writer, director, producer, and leading actor.

Cole Porter’s exuberant score for this song and dance extravaganza includes such hit numbers as “Another Openin’, Another Show,” “I Hate Men,” “Too Darn Hot,” “Brush Up Your Shakespeare,” and the title song, “Kiss Me, Kate.” Sam and Bella Spewack, who wrote the book, based their story on an actual production of The Taming of the Shrew from the 1930’s starring the Lunts.

Kiss Me, Kate premiered in New York on December 30, 1948. In the fall of 1999 it received a highly successful Broadway revival, closing in late fall of 2001.

Cars provided by Tom Winsor (the ’39 Chevy) and Mark Wilberg (the ’28 Ford)

Director’s Notes: Anything below and “F”, otherwise he cracks …
Oh, wait, you mean notes about the show….well just remember this – there IS no set.
We didn’t forget to build one, we just didn’t want to. The THEATRE is the set! As for the cars, well, why not?

Setting: Ford’s Theatre in Baltimore, Maryland
Late summer, 1948


Fred Graham: Steve Arnold
Hattie: Kayla Comer
Lois Lane: Kara Stumpff*
Bill Calhoun: Jeff Cumberlin
Lilli Vanessi: Sherri Stout
Harry Trevor: Ron Baldwin
Cab Driver: Dave Timmerman
First Gangster: Greg Walston
Second Gangster: Cody Robison
Senator Harrison Howell: Alan Nebola
Ralph (The Stage Manager): Dave Timmerman
Doorman: Blake Hansen
Woman in Car: Brenda Hackbarth / Lu Karr

And featuring Oberon as himself

and in the Ensemble

Kevin Bookmeier, Travis Hendricks, Blake Hansen, Heather Happel, Erin Horst, Kaitlin Karrick, Kayla Comer, Abby Hilton, Natalie Stout

The Taming of the Shrew Players:

Bianca (Lois Lane): Kara Stumpff*
Baptista (Harry Trevor): Ron Baldwin
Gremio: Travis Hendricks
Hortensio: Kevin Bookmeier
Lucentio (Bill Calhoun): Jeff Cumberlin
Katharnie (Lilli Vanessi): Sherri Stout
Petruchio (Fred Graham): Steve Arnold

Staff / Crew

Assistant to the Technical Director / Lights: Jessica Rundlett
Sound: Doug Martens
Set Construction Crew: Barb Bookmeier, Ray Bookmeier, Jordan Yessak, Josh Deutsch
Property Assistants: Eddie Cardwell, Chelsea Meyer
Costume Assistant: Josie Rundlett
House Manager: Brenda Hackbarth


April Larkin, alto saxophone, clarinet, flute
Lori Hagen, flute
Aaron Pingenot, clarinet, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone
Quentin Mussig, trumpet
Derek Ferguson, bass guitar
David Arnold, drums
Laura Zamzow, piano
Judy Trygstad, Conductor and flute