Big Noise Theatre's 'Kiss Me, Kate': Reimagining The Rules
Des Plaines, IL -- Big Noise Theatre is back at it again, kicking off their 2018-2019 season with one of Broadway's most beloved musicals, 'Kiss Me, Kate.' The show was rumored to have been inspired by a backstage fight between married actors Alfred Lunt and Lynne Fontanne during their 1935 production of 'The Taming of the Shrew,' overheard by their stage manager Arnold Saint Subber. A few years following, the book was written by Sam and Bella Spewack and the duo approached the infamous Cole Porter to pen the music. The show was ultimately produced in 1948 and went on to win the first-ever Tony Award for Best Musical (as well as four other Tony Awards that year). 'Kiss Me, Kate' would later be revived in 1999, and now Big Noise is producing a fresh new take on the themes and relationships within the story.
Director, Chris Causer, explained, "I'm really interested in reevaluating the gender rules and roles that so many classic musicals fall into." This is reflected in casting choices, character development and a change in perspective to some iconic scenes.
Korinne Yonan plays the energetic and feisty Hattie. When asked what is different or unique about this production, she answered, "It's incredibly self-aware. Chris, really took note of some of the outdated material, and changed the direction to reflect modern times. In the age of many different social revolutions, he really gives the show new meaning and life."
But just because Chris Causer and team are exploring new themes, not to worry; the music, dancing and energy that people know and love are still there in spades! Cliff Gabor who plays Fred Graham, the director, producer and lead of the play within a play, is confident that the audiences will have a great time. He commented, "I believe our director, Chris Causer, has a truly artistic view on the show. He has made 'Kiss Me, Kate' relatable and fun to present day audiences, while respecting all of the charm and wit of this timeless Cole Porter classic."
Nicholas Roman, the Music Director, went on to explain, "What's exciting about our production is the blurry line between tradition and innovation. When Cole Porter composed his musicals, he included songs he'd already written from his piano bench, and then added original pieces for the story. But this also relates to our production because of the creative twists we are making. Not to mention, you won't want to miss these voices singing one of the most beautiful musical theatre scores of all time!"
Big Noise Theatre produces a three show season at Prairie Lakes Theater in Des Plaines and has been doing so since 2005. In addition to 'Kiss Me, Kate' their 2018-19 season also includes 'Steel Magnolias' running January 11 to 27, 2019 and '9 to 5 The Musical' opening April 26 and running through May 12, 2019. Season packages are a great option for theatre-goers interested in seeing multiple shows at a discounted rate. Visit bignoise.org/packages for more information.
'Kiss Me, Kate' runs September 21 through October 7, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2pm. Performances are at Prairie Lakes Theater in Des Plaines. For tickets and more information visit bignoise.org/kissmekate.