Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Blazing Mirrors

Kiss Me, Kate original Broadway cast
Kiss Me, Kate follows the romantic entanglements of two couples acting in a provincial production of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, in comic counterpoint to their characters in the play itself. Eventually the offstage antics spill onto the Shakespearian stage.

 Kiss Me, Kate celebrates theatre, while it reveals what everyone who has ever participated in making theatre already knows: that the real drama—and comedy—is often offstage.

That truism was reflected in the show's original production, and the gossip about it has come down through the ages.  One of the writers reputedly hated one of the producers, the director and choreographer didn't get along, and there was at least one problem drinker in the cast.

composer Cole Porter & writer Bella Spewack
Some of the shenanigans resembled the plot of the play. In Kiss Me, Kate, the fictional actor/manager is caught by his ex-wife (and lead actress) making advances to a younger actress.

  Meanwhile, in the real world: while they were writing this musical comedy, Samuel Spewack left his wife Bella Spewack for a ballerina. And after some vocal anger and bitterness, in true musical comedy fashion, they later reconciled.

No comments: