Kiss Me Kate will open the Ashland Community and Technical College 2013-14 Theatre Season. Performances are Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 17 to 19 and Oct. 24 to 26, at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays, Oct. 20 and 27, at 2:30 p.m.
This award winning musical combines Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew with Cole Porter's music and lyrics. It is a play-within-a-play where each cast member's on-stage life is complicated by what is happening offstage. The play shows a theatre group that is presenting the Taming of the Shrew, so the audience sees both the lives of the “actors” and their presentation of the Shakespeare story.
Kiss Me Kate premiered in 1948 and became an instant classic, winning a Tony award for Best Musical in 1949. Based on the book by Bella and Samuel Spewack, it proved to be Porter’s biggest hit and the only one of his shows to run for more than 1,000 performances on Broadway. The last Broadway revival in 1999 received Tony Awards for Best Actor, Best Costumes, Best Director and Best Orchestrations.
The mix of drama and comedy is enlivened by such musical numbers as Why Can't You Behave, So In Love Am I, Wunderbar, Too Darn Hot, I Hate Men, Always True to You (In My Fashion) and, of course, Kiss Me Kate.
Headlining the cast are Mark Baker, a pharmacy technician from Ironton, OH as Fred Graham / Petrucho, and Nancy Jackson, a Worthington resident and graduate assistant at Marshall University, as Lilli Vanessi / Katherine.
Allison Davis, an ACTC alumna and homemaker from Kenova, is Louis Lana / Bianca. Chace McKenzie, a teacher at Tygart Creek Elementary School, is Bill Calhoun / Lucentio.
High school students in the cast include Garrett Campbell, Gabby Thompson and Katherine Yoakem from Boyd County, Alex Castle from Fairview Independent, Baron Hankins from Russell, Peri Ann Law, a homeschooled student from Grayson, and Kaitlyn Cifaldi, Ethan Darby, Ciera McDowell, Maya McKenzie and Brooklyn Metzler from Paul Blazer.
Also in the cast are Jessica E. English, an ACTC student from Ashland; Lauren Curnutte, a Morehead State University student from Raceland; Kenny Harbolt, a childcare worker from Ironton; Susan Henderson, a homemaker from Grayson, Chris Keeton, a pastor and bank teller from Ashland; and Andrew Potter, a paralegal in The Potter Law Firm in Ashland.
Professor Edward Figgins, ACTC Director of Theatre, is the director and scenic/lighting designer. Karen L. Curnutte, ACTC Musical Theatre Director, handles the vocals, and Eric Akers, ACTC Musical Theatre Conductor, directs the orchestra. Yvonne DeKay Sinnott, owner of Yvonne DeKay’s School of Dance, is the choreographer. The costume designer is Paula Krepski, ACTC Theatre Costumer, and the sound designer is Roger Hagley, ACTC Distance Learning Technician.
Performances are in the J. B. Sowards Theatre at ACTC’s College Drive Campus in Ashland.
Tickets are $8.00 for adults and $5.00 for students, seniors and groups of 10 or more. Tickets may be reserved with a major credit card through the college bookstore, 606-326-2014. Unsold tickets will be available at the door before each performance, for cash or check (with photo ID) payment only.
For more information, call the ACTC Theatre Office at 606-326-2073.