Kiss Me Kate by Opera North in Leeds promises a colorful battle of the sexes. With hits like “Too Darn Hot”, “Wunderbar” and the almost anthemic “I Hate Men”. The audience in Leeds would be treated to a hilarious romp to relationships. The fact that it featured theater performers as characters added color to the already riotous affair.
The musical tackles the story of Fred Graham and Lilli Vanessi. Despite getting divorced, they still end up seeing each other in the same circles. As they say, the entertainment industry is just a small world. Sometimes even less than 6 degrees of separation. So with the musical-within-the-musical “The Taming of the Shrew” was staged in Baltimore, Fred and Lilli end up teaming up. Just for the sake of a musical meant to rake in the bucks. Would The Taming of the Shrew be as much a hit as that of Kiss Me Kate by Opera North in Leeds? That we have yet to see.
The mob got into the fray. One of the cast members of The Taming of the Shrew, Bill, signed a promise to pay in Fred’s name. No wonder the gangsters won’t believe Fred that he never signed it. He even mistook the felons as fans asking for autographs. (He’s egotistical like that) So Fred ends up with 2 issues to handle through the night while trying to maintain the musical. One is facing his real feelings for Lilli. The other one is Bill. Bill had to handle that on his own though once Fred squirms his way out of the situation. And it definitely doesn’t help that the theatre house is barely filled. Kiss Me Kate by Opera North in Leeds is guaranteed to deliver knee-slapping laughter.
Here is a couple who clearly loved each other still. But they let their issues get the better of them. Fred has an ego that irritated Lilli. Lilli has a temper that Fred can’t handle. And they pretend to be unaffected by each other’s presence backstage. Lilli even declared her feigned delight that night. She is happy because it’s the first anniversary of their divorce. As if staying unmarried to each other for a year is quite a feat. Then again in Kiss Me Kate by Opera North in Leeds, you discover that Lilli has her own ego to stroke too.
And so two couples participate in The Taming of the Shrew. Which is real? Which is reel among the performances delivered in the musical-within-the-musical? The interesting parts to compare in Kiss Me Kate by Opera North in Leeds would be “Wunderbar” and “I Hate Men”. The number “Wunderbar” would rub certain theater performers’ nerves. 2 highly-emotional people celebrating the first anniversary of their divorce end up questioning the trouble they went through to stay apart. There is authenticity in the performance if only it was included in repertoire of The Taming of the Shrew. Then again, Lilli gets to perform “I Hate Men” with so much rage. That emotional turmoil brewing in Lilli ended up fueling a more-than-accurate portrayal of the man-hating Katherine. Scenes like this explain best why some theatrical performances end up looking brilliant on stage. It’s basically acting without acting.
Kiss Me Kate by Opera North in Leeds features music by Cole Porter. Musical director will be David Charles Abell under the stage direction of Jo Davies. Choreography by Will Tucket. The role of Lilli/Katherine will be assumed by Jeni Bern. She will be joined on stage by Quirijn de Lang taking on the role of Fred/Petruchio. Performances for Kiss Me Kate by Opera North in Leeds will start on 21 September 2015.
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Did you know that the first ever Tony Award for Best Musical is won by Kiss Me Kate in 1949? Important facts like these inspire musical theater fans in seeing Kiss Me Kate by Opera North in Leeds. More interesting info to come in the next articles. All you have to do now is first, subscribe to our online newsletter. Second, follow us on our social media accounts. Like our official Facebook page, Musicals Online. And follow us on Twitter @musicalsnews. Thanks for reading.