Kiss Me, Kate – Theatre Review

Landmark Musicals opens its 2017 season with the comical hit “Kiss Me, Kate” at the Rodey Theatre, which is sure to have you laughing the entire time.

The musical wit of Cole Porter and the dramatic storyline by Sam and Bella Spewack create a production within a production, using the beloved Shakespeare classic “The Taming of the Shrew” as the core.

The story follows the egotistical production director and producer, Fred Graham as he readies his crew for another show of “The Taming of the Shrew” in the darn hot city of Baltimore. Problems arise as his costar ex-wife, Lilli Vanessi, becomes jealous and angry after flowers intended for the young flirtatious star Lois Lane, are mistakenly sent to her.

Erick Seelinger and Amy Poland as Petrucio and Kate. Photo is by Max Woltman.
Erick Seelinger and Amy Poland as Petrucio and Kate. Photo is by Max Woltman.

Arguing, tension and animosity are shared on stage between the two as the the production of Shakespeare turns into a disaster.

Lilli Vanessi played by Amy Poland, commands the Rodey Theatre stage with each grand entrance, a delight to see after returning to the stage from a long absence. Her talented counterpart is played by Erick Seelinger, a Landmark vet with a low baritone voice, that wooed Vanessi, Miss Lane and audience members Friday night.

Other standouts include First Man played by Gary Bearly and his sidekick Second Man played by Jack Litherland. The two showcase their dynamic duo wit and humor throughout, even surprising us with a number, titled “Brush Up Your Shakespeare.” In addition, crowd favorite Paul played by newbie Hasani Olujimi, brought charisma and spectacular vocals, translating the soul of jazz in the tune “Too Darn Hot.”

The Kiss Me, Kate Orchestra conducted by Darby Fegan transition effortlessly from 1940s Baltimore jazz and swing to the sounds of the Elizabethan era, helping create the best numbers such as, “Another Op’nin’, Another Show,” “I Hate Men,” and “Always True to You in My Fashion.”

But it was the number performed by the talented, Bianca (Courtney Giannini), Lucentio (Louis Giannini), Hortensio (Cameron Illidge-Welch) and Gremio (David Bello) that showed how comically witty this production is.


7 chances left to see the show!

Performances dates and times:

  • Friday March 17th at 7:30 pm
  • Saturday March 18th at 2:00 pm
  • Saturday March 18th at 7:30 pm
  • Sunday March 19th at 2:00 pm
  • Friday March 24th at 7:30 pm
  • Saturday March 25th at 7:30 pm
  • Sunday March 26th at 2:00 pm

Ticket price range: $22 – $26 / $2.00 discount for seniors and students

Tickets available at UNM Box Offices or at unmtickets.com

For more information on upcoming Landmark Musicals visit http://landmarkmusicals.org/

Original Publication / March.13.2017 / http://www.abqtodo.com/theatre-review-kiss-kate/

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