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Kiss Me, Kate at the Old Globe

Since its premiere in 1948, Cole Porter's Kiss Me, Kate has been a favorite for many, winning the very first Tony Award presented for Best Musical. The musical is a a performance within a performance. Featuring William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, the storyline follows Fred Graham, the producer, director, and star of The Taming of the Shrew and his co-star and ex-wife, Lilli Vanessi. The two actors constantly bicker with each other, despite their obvious, never ceasing love for each other. As they virulently attack each other, both offstage and onstage, Fred Graham leads a romance with Lois Lane, whom he gives a role, causing Lilli Vanessi to smother herself in her own jealousy. Everything goes aflame when Fred Graham sends Lois Lane flowers Lilli Vanessi had when she married him. Not only this, but he sends it on their anniversary, and the note and flowers get into the hands of Lilli Vanessi... Lois Lane has her own side romance with Bill Calhoun, who signs his debt in the name of Fred Graham, causing the actor even more problems.

In San Diego, at the Old Globe Theatre, Kiss Me, Kate, on August 4, 2015 was a blast. A mixture of excitement, adrenaline, and sheer pleasure, the show succeeded at portraying the horrid events happening behind that infamous curtain. This was my first time seeing Kiss Me, Kate and I found the idea of having a performance within a performance really entertaining. Anastasia Barzee, performing the role of Lilli Vanessi, executed the temperament of a diva very well, showing how a woman with character would act in the given situations. Her performance of So In Love led the audience to tears with its emotional depth and certitude. Mike McGowan, as Fred Graham, demonstrated his power as a director and producer, and yet still kept his position of an emotional actor. He and Lilli Vanessi were acting incongruously, but at the end of the day they were still in love and on each other's side. Megan Sikora was an excellent comic relief, as she portrayed Lois Lane with brilliance of charisma and voice.

Another great comic duo were Brendan Averett and Joel Blum, who performed the roles of the men who came after Fred Graham when Lois Lane's lover signed his debt with Graham's name. Almost always being present both on the real stage and on the stage within the stage, Averett and Blum caused lots of laughs and applause. Their song Brush Up Your Shakespeare was a real hit, and definitely delighted the audience with its vivacity and spirit.

James T. Lane and Aurelia Williams were not main characters, but definitely had charm and charisma. Together, they made the perfect innkeepers. James T. Lane beautifully performed the number Too Darn Hot, with the entire chorus, and Aurelia Williams opened the show wonderfully with her performance of Another Op'nin, Another Show.

The costumes in this production were very colorful and captivating. Conducted by Music Director Kris Kukul, this show is a must go.


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