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 Post subject: Kiss Me Kate
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2001 12:26 am 
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Review of the Broadway Production now appearing in the West End from The Times.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>HERE’S a classic American musical, complete with terrific American leads, that will add loads of wattage to a London whose feelings are pretty dark right now and whose theatres are in danger of going less metaphorically dark. If it doesn’t help to stem the 10 to 15 per cent slide in audiences that began on September 11, what will? “Another opening, another show, Phillie or Boston or Baltimow.” So chorus the stagehands as they prepare to put on the touring production of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew that’s the musical-within- the-musical in Cole Porter’s glorious Kiss Me, Kate. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,,62-2001380219,00.html" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A><P>And in The Evening Standard where there are several related articles.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR> For sheer, escapist pleasure there's nothing in town that surpasses this back-and-front of stage musical by Cole Porter. Kiss Me, Kate, beautifully converts Shakespeare into song and dance and two divorced thespians into lovers all over again. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> <P><A HREF="http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/dynamic/hottx/theatre/review.html?in_review_id=463732&in_review_text_id=424072" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A><P>And another entusiastic review in The Independent<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Watching Michael Blakemore's production of Kiss Me, Kate, you keep thinking: well, it can't get any better than this. And then, lo and behold, it does. The show tops its best so often that, by the end, the audience floats out of the theatre on a wave of unalloyed joy.<P><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/theatre/theatre/reviews/story.jsp?story=102424" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A><P><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited November 06, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Kiss Me Kate
PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2001 3:48 am 
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“Kiss me Kate”<BR>Victoria Palace<BR>Autumn 2001<P>I am not generally a fan of musicals - well on stage, at any rate. I love the old black and white screen versions for their catchy tunes with clearly enunciated lyrics that I can sing along to, and for their glamorous dance numbers. But there is something terribly garish about stage musicals, as if the colour control is turned up too high. You can’t cut to other scenes nor home in on the nuance of a smile. Everything is obvious and spelt out. Even the costumes tell you who the character is before a word is ever spoken. Nor am I a great fan of the old-fashioned theatres where musicals are staged – the deep deep red velvet seats on an incline so steep I fear the astigmatism that constantly causes me to miss my footing on the stairs will lead to my untimely death.<P>Yet I liked “Kiss me Kate”. Michael Blakemore’s revival at the Victoria Palace of the Cole Porter classic brought a little Broadway razzmatazz to an otherwise bleak November evening. Singing softly to the great song numbers “From this moment on” and “Always true to you (in my fashion),” I overcame my vertigo, folded away my long legs (there is always a lack of leg room in these old theatres) and had a thoroughly good time. <P>Fred and Lilli used to be married. They come back together on a professional basis to stage Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew,” taking the parts of Petruchio and Katharine. Lilli mistakenly thinks the good luck posy from Fred is for her, whereas it’s for the company tart with the half-squeaky, half-nasal Bronx voice. So Lilli calls for her lover, a general, to tear himself away from the President and rescue her. She is being prevented from just walking out by two gangsters who mistakenly think Fred owes their boss a gambling debt and that a box office success will pay off the debt. To cut a long story short (and spare you more “mistaken” identities and motives), Lilli comes back to finish the “Shrew” and comes to heel both as Lilli with Fred and as Kate with Petruchio. Sam and Bella Spewack’s book is predictable but has sufficient high-brow credentials (well, it paraphrases Shakespeare) to take us beyond the naff story lines of later musicals. <P>The leads, with the exception of Fred, all hail from the original Broadway production of the show. The singing by the classically trained cast is of a high standard. The principal characters, Fred (Brent Barrett) and Lilli (Marin Mazzie), are given songs which are a good foil for their true operatic voices, whereas Lois (Nancy Andersen) has songs for a blues/jazz voice. Although Barrett has a wonderful voice, he doesn’t appear to dance a step (which is a surprise because his Broadway debut was as Tony in the revival of ‘West Side Story’ directed by the great man himself, Jerome Robbins), whilst Mazzie looks rather too matronly to break out into dance. The next two most important characters, however, Bill (and Lucentio in “Shrew”) (Michael Berresse) and girlfriend Lois, really can dance. Bill proves his love for Lois by dancing up the back stairs and climbing between floors feet first whilst supporting himself in a handstand on the rail, like a more athletic Elvis in “Jailhouse Rock,” dancing round the bars of his prison cell. I certainly would have been impressed in her shoes. <P>The highlight was Nolan Frederick singing and dancing to the lazy Jazz tune “Too darn hot.” He isn’t a virtuoso dancer but he’s sure got rhythm and knows how to hold an audience. Maybe this is because he trained with Martha Graham and Alvin Ailey. Plus, you name the musical, and he’s been in it. I adore dancers dancing up and off walls and drainpipes - it reminds me of Astaire dancing with the contents of an office (including a hat stand) in the film “Swing Time.”<P>There are other vignettes to savour, most notably the girls in one of the “Shrew” scenes, lying on their backs with their legs in the air, naughtily encouraging those local boys to remove their stockings. I was not sure what came next. In the end it is just that the girls are preparing to dance what is probably a version of the tarantella in the wine vat, in a coquettish and provocative manner, their skirts hitched up to their waistbands, supposedly pressing the wine with their feet. But the part I liked best – you’re going to think this corny – was the pantomime donkey, (the two gangsters incognito), sweeping his two right hooves across his left ones and launching into a natty ‘pas de cheval’ with a cocky swagger.<P><BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Kiss Me Kate
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2001 11:42 pm 
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Kiss Me Kate has won the Evening Standard award for best musical. For a full list of winner go to.<BR><A HREF="http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/dynamic/hottx/review.html?in_review_id=478174&in_review_text_id=433746" TARGET=_blank><B> WINNERS </B> </A><P>Also an artivle in The Indeoendent which talks about Andrew Lloyd Webber's speech lamenting the lack of new musicals.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Andrew Lloyd Webber presented a top award to a revival of the Cole Porter classic Kiss me, Kate yesterday, and then lamented the lack of new talent creating musicals.<P><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/theatre/theatre/story.jsp?story=107037" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A><P><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited November 29, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Kiss Me Kate
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2002 10:57 pm 
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<B>Critics' kisses for Kate</B> <BR>From the BBC Arts website<P><BR>The West End production of Kiss Me Kate has won the best musical prize at the prestigious Critics' Circle Theatre Awards. <BR>The Broadway revival of the Cole Porter classic, playing at the Victoria Palace in London, beat Trevor Nunn's My Fair Lady to take the award.<P><A HREF="http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/entertainment/arts/newsid_1802000/1802519.stm" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A>


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 Post subject: Re: Kiss Me Kate
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2002 11:32 pm 
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Article on Rachel York new start of Kiss Me Kate, in the Evening Standard.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Rachel York can start a trill with the sweetness of a dove and end it with the aggression of a rottweiler - an attribute which marks her out as a superb new lead in the award-laden Kiss Me Kate. <P><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/dynamic/hottx/theatre/review.html?in_review_id=463732&in_review_text_id=606478" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A>


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 Post subject: Re: Kiss Me Kate
PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2002 8:34 am 
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Kiss me Kate is to close. From The Evening Standard.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR> Kiss Me, Kate's closure may not be all the fault of bad ticket sales in London, however. Producers Roger Berlind and Roger Horchow base their operations on Broadway - where summer ticket sales have been terrible. <P>Today it was announced that the Broadway production of The Full Monty - also running in London - is to close because despite good audience figures advance ticket sales for the show are disastrously low. <P><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/dynamic/hottx/theatre/review.html?in_review_id=463732&in_review_text_id=609526" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B></A>


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 Post subject: Re: Kiss Me Kate
PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2002 12:40 am 
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<B>Shrewish audiences blamed as 'Kiss Me Kate' is forced to close early</B><P>By Louise Jury<BR>13 July 2002The Independent<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>'Kiss Me Kate', the acclaimed musical which was hailed as one of the saviours of the West End, is to close next month.<P>The curtain is being brought down on the Cole Porter show after only 10 months, meaning it is unlikely to have recouped its £3.5m cost despite rave reviews and award nominations.<P>The show is the latest casualty of a downturn in London theatre, where audiences have shunned strong performances by relative unknowns for the allure of stars.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/theatre/news/story.jsp?story=314520" TARGET=_blank><B>more...</B></A><P>


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 Post subject: Re: Kiss Me Kate
PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2002 11:39 pm 
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Article from The Standard which looks at how the West End musicals are fairing in general.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>It's the sort of news that used to send shock waves through the wallets of West End producers: despite rave reviews, appreciative audiences and an Evening Standard Best Musical award, Cole Porter's Kiss Me Kate, starring Nancy Anderson and Michael Beresse, is to close on 24 August, just 10 months after it opened at the Victoria Palace Theatre. <P><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/dynamic/hottx/theatre/review.html?in_review_id=643773&in_review_text_id=614600" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A>


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 Post subject: Re: Kiss Me Kate
PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2002 12:36 am 
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Interesting article in the Guardian on why the critically acclaimed Kiss Me kate is closing when across the road Bombay Dreams is taking record bookings after lukewarm reviews.

Quote:
Another closing, another show, as Cole Porter might have put it. Two hugely expensive shows are playing in theatres 100 yards apart in London. One got ecstatic reviews, the other reviews which could only politely be described as mixed. One is turning people away every night, the other dying in front of rows of empty seats.
Kiss Me, Kate, Cole Porter's joyous take on Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew, closes next Saturday in the Victoria Palace Theatre, after 10 months, long before it could hope to recoup its £3.5m costs. It will tour, with an English cast replacing the original Broadway stars, but the overheads are so daunting it can never become a commercial hit.

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 Post subject: Re: Kiss Me Kate
PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2004 9:23 am 
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<img src="http://www.theambassadors.com/common_graphics/productions/p1201_m1.jpg" alt="" />

Press Release

KISS ME, KATE

‘A ravishing blissful triumph’ Mail on Sunday

Cole Porter’s classic musical KISS ME, KATE, which took Broadway by storm, was critically acclaimed in the West End and now tours the UK - will be delighting Bromley audiences, at the Churchill Theatre, from Tuesday 2 to Saturday 13 November.

KISS ME, KATE is like a gift from the theatre to its audience, an uproar of theatrical invention and irresistible, energetic fizz - about the anarchic but exuberant life of a theatre company staging an ambitious musical.

Binding the two worlds on stage and backstage, is the on and off romance of the two leading characters - Fred Graham and Lilli Vanessi. Their tempestuous relationship combines old fashioned, lip-smacking literacy with a hilarious the battle of the sexes.

Cole Porter is synonymous with wit and sophistication. KISS ME, KATE is considered to be his masterpiece, with such hits “Another Op’nin, Another Show”, “So in Love”, “Too Darn Hot”, “From This Moment On”, “Wunderbar” and the title song “Kiss Me, Kate”.

‘Kiss Me, Kate reminds you exactly why you fell in love with showbiz
in the first place’ Daily Telegraph

Michael Blakemore directed Kiss Me, Kate on Broadway and in the West End. The tour recreates this new adaptation of an old classic that quickly became an award winning production.

KISS ME, KATE stars the cream of London’s West End. Craig Urbani renowned for his performance at London’s Dominion Theatre in Grease will play Fred Graham. Julie-Alanah Brighten famed for her performance in Tell Me on A Sunday and Disney’s West End Production of Beauty and the Beast will play Lilli Vanessi. Michelle Francis lands her first major role of Lois Lane which is testament to Michelle’s talent as a brilliant musical actress. Playing opposite Michelle will be David Sellings. David played Double J in Saturday Night Fever in the West End and has just finished playing Ren in Footloose on a sell out European tour. David’s television credits are numerous from Hollyoaks to Hanger 17 and most recently he has been a judge on Germany’s version of Pop Idol.

It has also just been announced that Michael Greco (Beppe di Marco in EastEnders) and John Altman (Nick Cotton in EastEnders) will be making exciting special guest appearances in the show as the Gangsters.

Supported by a large company of breath-taking performers plus an awesome live orchestra KISS ME, KATE will be ‘Too Darn Hot!’

The West End and Broadway have been enthralled by the theatrical and musical treat that is KISS ME, KATE, now its time for the rest of the UK to be blown away by this thrilling and dazzling musical...catch it in Bromley whilst you can!

· There will be an Audio Described perf on Saturday 13 November 2.30pm
· Performance times are Mon-Sat eves 7.45pm and Thu & Sat mats 2.30pm
· Ticket prices range from £20 to £27.50 & can be booked on 0870 060 6620 (bkg fee)


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 Post subject: Re: Kiss Me Kate
PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2004 11:37 am 
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Kiss Me Kate
Dramatic conflict between two stars on stage, juxtaposed by their domestic disharmony offstage, is the comic dynamite in this dynamic production. By Roger Malone for The Stage

From the first scene - the choreographed chaos of Another Op’nin, Another Show - the stage is set for a production of pace and panache. A play within a play, the touring company deliver The Taming of the Shrew while in the wings their own dramas unfurl with similar Bardic tension. As Fred Graham, the egotist actor playing Shakespeare’s chauvinistic wife-hunter Petruchio, Craig Urbani excels. Wryly wily in affairs backstage he oscillates readily between that and the increasingly overlapping matrimonial machinations of his character. As an exasperated Petruchio, Urbani’s singing of Where Is The Life That Late I Led? was a comic masterstroke.

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 Post subject: Re: Kiss Me Kate
PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2004 2:55 am 
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Kiss Me Kate
By Richard Edmunds, The Birmingham Post


A masterpiece is a work to which nothing can be added without redundancy, and from which nothing can be taken away without structural loss.

In this category Cole Porter's Kiss Me Kate securely belongs, and I am full of respect for the loyalty and reverence which the shows directors, choreographers and leading actors have paid to Mr Porter's original intentions.

The result is a show-stopping production of a musical which bubbles over with high spirits and company zest, at once colourful, highly amusing and totally convincing - although at times it does bubble over just a little too much obscuring Mr Porter's gloriously witty lyrics.

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 Post subject: Re: Kiss Me Kate
PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2004 4:38 am 
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"Kiss Me Kate" at the Churchill Theatre Bromley was a stunning show. So much depends on the chemistry between Fred/Petruchio and Lilli/Katharine (for story see Stuart Sweeney's posting re the West End production)and in this production it was working well. The opening number of the show was lively and a taste of the excellent ensemble pieces to come. Hattie, played by Alexandra Gunn had a lovely voice with a good range. It was no surprise to read of her experience on the jazz circuit.

After the opening number, the pace slowed, but took off again with Fred and Lilli singing Wunderbar. Fred was played by Craig Urbani, who delivered his one-liners with panache, swashed an impressive buckle and sang well and with style.

Julie-Alannah Brighten was very impressive in the role of Lilli. She went from haughty, elegant star to mud-spattered harridan with apparent ease. This is a very physically demanding role, but Julie-Alannah maintained her energy and vitality throughout the show. She is a versatile singer, able to both belt out the big numbers and sing the romantic ballads with feeling.

Michelle as Lois Lane/Bianca, though not big physically, filled the stage with her personality and her vibrant singing and dancing. She was ably accompanied by David Sellings as Bill Calhoun/Lorentio who also demonstrated his considerable and acrobatic dancing skills.

The music is of course wonderful and Vikki Coote's choreography made full use of it. Watching "Too Darn Hot", beautifully danced and sung by Leroy Ricardo Jones and the ensemble,we could feel the heat. It was exciting stuff and an effective contrast to, for instance, the measured sensuality of the Pavance.

The gangsters were very entertaining,particularly Michael Greco, (who for me has blown his smooth East Enders image for ever!), but maybe there were times when they could have been given more "business" to do, rather than just having to stand an watch the action.

The sets were very atmospheric, particularly the contrast between the bright Italian and the dark backstage scenes. The costumes were stunning. I particularly liked Fred's increasingly flamboyant outfits.

In all, the show was a real pleasure to watch, - an absorbing evening of great music matched by high standards of singing, dancing and acting.

<small>[ 02 January 2005, 07:49 AM: Message edited by: Patricia Somerset ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Kiss Me Kate
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2004 5:11 am 
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Quote:
Igniting a vital spark

by NEIL COOPER
the Herald

Kiss Me Kate producer Alasdair Harvey explains how he went from the dockyard to the West End.
[more


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 8:45 am 
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Sales not enough to keep Kiss Me, Kate on the road
From The Stage


Poor ticket sales are being blamed for the cancellation of the final three months of the UK tour of Michael Blakemore’s Broadway and West End revival of Cole Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate.

The touring version, starring Craig Urbani and Julie-Alanah Brighten, has been forced to pull out of dates in Liverpool, Leeds, Hull, Bristol, Eastbourne, Glasgow and Canterbury, after a decision was taken to close the show when its run at the Cardiff Millennium Centre finished on April 16.

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