‘Kiss Me, Kate’ is ‘Too Darn Hot’ at Marriott Theatre
Loop North News

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(Above) Cast of a musical version of The Taming of the Shrew, the Shakespearean play within the Cole Porter musical. (Click on images to view larger versions.)

20-Dec-21 – Marriott Theatre’s rendition of Kiss Me, Kate is the perfect mix of romance, comedy, and behind-the-scenes hijinks.

Susan Monitz and Larry Adams, two beloved Chicago stars, lead this classic musical with the passion and pizzazz we have come to expect from them, supported by the most talented group of performers ever to grace the Marriott stage.

Marriott Theatre

Emotions run high as leading lady Lilli Vanessi (Monitz) and her ex-husband, actor and director Fred Graham (Adams), fight on-stage and off in a production of William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew.

Jealousy and rage are met with drama and love.

Kiss Me, Kate combines the irreverent humor of Cole Porter and William Shakespeare with a battle of the sexes, mixed with mistaken identity, the mob, and comedic routines. Although the play was first produced in 1948, the sexist politics between men and women remains an issue today.

Based on the book by Sam and Bella Spewack – and inspired by the real-life battles, on and off-stage, of husband-and-wife actors Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontaine – Kiss Me, Kate features Porter’s always-brilliant music and lyrics. You will leave the theater humming Wunderbar, Another Op’nin Another Show, So in Love, Too Darn Hot, and Brush Up Your Shakespeare.

Monitz shines in her double role as Lilli Vanessi and Kate, with not only a tremendous voice but excellent comedic chops. Adams, as Fred Graham and Petruchio, conveys a sense of charm and sorrow.

Marriott Theatre

Marriott Theatre

The big, big voice of Allison Blackwell, as Hattie, commands the stage, while Jonathan Butler-Duplessis, as Paul, leads the cast in over-the-top productions.

(Left) Blackwell and Butler-Duplessis.

Also starring are Alexandra Palkovic as Lois Lane/Bianca, Daniel May as Bill Calhoun/Lucenito, Lillian Castillo as Gun Woman, and Shea Coffman as Gun Man.

Palkovic (right) has been a constant on the Marriott stage for several shows. Her next stop is Broadway; she’s that good.

Johanna McKenzie Miller directs this first-ever Tony Award winner for Best Musical. Miller makes her mainstage directorial debut at the Marriott Theatre roughly 20 years after making her acting debut under the same spotlights.

Music direction is by Jeff Award winner Ryan T. Nelson with choreography by Jeff Award nominee Alex Sanchez and music supervision by Patti Garwood.

Marriott Theatre

Mention must be made of the exquisite, colorful Renaissance costumes by Theresa Ham and the accompanying hairstyles/wigs by Miguel A. Armstrong. They add much beauty and ambience to the production.

On hold due to COVID-19, Kiss Me, Kate resumes performances on December 29 and will run through January 16 at the Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Drive in Lincolnshire. Guests will be required to wear face coverings and present proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test.

 More info and tickets: Marriott Theatre

• Contact Mira Temkin at miratemkin@gmail.com


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