Theater Arts Department Updates Shakespeare’s `Shrew’ with `Kate’

Jackie Brubaker

The theater arts, music and dance departments combine this month in a production of “Kiss Me, Kate,” opening Friday, April 20, at 8 p.m.

Based on Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew,” the musical is about a show within a show, in which a newly divorced couple is paired up to star in a new play.

Joining them in the production is the rich new fiancÇ of the star Katharine, a showgirl and her gambling boyfriend, as well as gangsters who hound the leading man to cough up a debt. All of this takes place on the opening night.

Bella and Samuel Spewack wrote the original book and the renowned Cole Porter composed the music and lyrics to the award-winning musical.

Ken Gray directs the production, Ted Stern is musical director, and choreography is by Lynda Curry.

There are four leads in the show, with actors doubling up for the “Taming of the Shrew” roles and the contemporary parts.

Eva Hedberg, the actress who landed the roles of “Katharine” and Lilly Vanessi, is no stranger to Glendale’s theater department. She also directed “Laundry and Bourbon” after taking a directing class on campus.

“Bianca” and Lois Lane are played by freshman Heather “Tessa” Deauvono. “This is my first show here and I found it great to be working with such a utopia of diverse talent,” she said.

“Petruchio” and Fredrick Gram are played by Kevin Blackley.

The gambler, Bill Calhoun. is played by Rocco Donato Biagio Olivo Jr.

The cast consists of 39 people and has been in rehearsal since the beginning of the semester.

The cast members have to register for classes in costuming or building the set while also receiving theater arts credits for participating in the musical. “This is not a show for someone to sit around and expect `star treatment,'” choreographer Curry said.

Members learn what it’s like to really create a show from the ground up. They build the set, act on it, and when it’s all over, tear it all down nail by nail.

The show will run for two weekends only and reservations are recommended. Ticket prices for the general public are $14, students and seniors are $10, and the group rate is $6 per ticket for groups of 10 or more.

For more information about reserving tickets or further information, call Ext. 5618.