The Opera Studio of WWU’s Music Department will produce the Cole Porter Broadway hit “Kiss Me, Kate” on the Mainstage of the Performing Arts Center April 14 & 15 and April 21-23. The production features a full live orchestra.
The story involves the production of a musical version of Shakespeare's “The Taming of the Shrew,” and the conflict on- and off-stage between Fred Graham – the show's director, producer, and star – and his leading lady, who is also his ex-wife. Originally produced to critical acclaim and box office success on Broadway in 1948, Kiss Me, Kate, showcases well-known songs, including “Too Darn Hot,” “So in Love,” and “Another Op’nin, Another Show.” It ran for over 1,000 performances on Broadway, winning a 1949 Tony Award for Best Musical.
The WWU production is staged by Heather Dudenbostel, with choreography by Dance professor Penny Hutchinson, and musical direction by Ryan Dudenbostel – maestro of the WWU Symphony. The student cast and crew have contributed to every aspect of the production, including costume construction, set painting, and lighting. The assistant rehearsal pianist, who has ballroom dance training, helped coach waltzing.
Students and audiences are exposed to Shakespeare, stage combat, jazz music, various dance styles, Broadway and vaudeville traditions, said Heather Dudenbostel on the wide scope of the production. In particular, student performers are provided the rare opportunity to sing with full orchestra, said Dudenbostel,
“Versatility is key for any young singer, and Kiss Me Kate makes for an exciting and fun training ground,” she said.
Kiss Me, Kate plays Friday and Saturday April 14 – 15 at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday April 21 – 22 at 7:30 p.m., with a Sun., April 23 matinee at 2 p.m. Tickets are $16 general, $12 senior, $10 students and are available at the WWU Ticket Office in the Performing Arts Center, by calling (360) 650-6146, on online at tickets.wwu.edu. Disability accommodations are available by contacting the ticket office. Pay-by-the-hour parking is available on campus for these performances – links to lot maps, pay station instructions, and a downloadable mobile parking app are online at cfpa.wwu.edu/parking.