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Concert Program Cover

Fourth Concert of the 62nd Season

Kiss Me Kate

May 4-6, 2001
Cordier Auditorium
Scott Strode and Debra Lynn, Directors

  Cast List  
  (In order of appearance)  
  Fred Graham / Petruchio John Wright  
  Harry Trevor / Baptista Mike Raymond  
  Lois Lane / Bianca Elizabeth Geisewite  
  Rachel (Stage Manager) / Chorus Carrie A. Albright  
  Lilli Vanessi / Katherine Hillary Blake  
  Stage Doorperson / Chorus Jenna Fairchild  
  Paul Drue Jones  
  Bill Calhoun / Lucentio Evan Saltzman  
  Gremio (First Suitor) Seth Hendricks  
  Hortensio (Second Suitor) John Wilson  
  Gangster 1 / Chorus Andy Bosk  
  Gangster 2 / Chorus Jeremy Van Deman  
  Harrison Howell Dr. Scott K. Strode  
  Cab Driver / Haberdasher / Chorus Leslie Cantrell  
  Natalio / Chorus Kristin M. Morris  
  Gregorio / Messenger  #1 / Chorus Megan Allen  
  Phillipio / Messenger #2 / Chorus Carey Konkle  
  Showgirl / Chorus Laura Pechta, Christina Middleton,
Kim Reuter, Dennae Lytle
  Banker / Chorus Emily Perkins  
  Chauffeur / Chorus Nicole Cataldo  
  Stagehand / Chorus Penny Heddings  
  Doctor / Offstage Chorus Kari Brinkmeier  
  Nurse #1 / Offstage Chorus Erin Enright  
  Truckman / Offstage Chorus Mark Schwartz, Michael Good  
  Offstage Chorus Dave Hoffman, Tiffany Bohnstadt, Andrew Kauffman, Jaymie Baker, Jennifer Morris, Charlotte Olinger, Kara Wolheter, Jennifer Cornett, Lois Davis, Try An Williams, Sandy Funk, Kami Newcomer, Carla Fraley  

Program Notes by James R. C. Adams

  Cole Porter

As most of you know, Cole Porter was born in Peru, Indiana. His family was wealthy, and he suffered none of teh financial worries which plagued his contemporary, Irving Berlin. While Berlin was largely self-taught, Porter was very well educated. He graduated from Yale, studied music at Harvard, and traveled to Paris where he studied at the Schola Cantorum, under the French composer Vincent D'Indy. Porter was a sophisticated bon vivant, who, in his music, thumbed his nose at authority, delighted in double entendre, and used downright risqué lyrics, which he wrote himself. The musicologist Cecil Smith referred to Porter as "the genteel pornographer" of musical comedy.

Kiss Me Kate is a play within a play. Lilli Vanessi and Fred Graham are a divorced couple who are performing in Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. On stage, they battle it out as Katherine and Petruchio, while backstage, they continue to squabble as Lilli and Fred. There is the usual "will-the-show-go-on-or-will-it-be-closed-for-financial-reasons" ploy, allowing for the introduction of two New York hoods for comic effect.

In Kiss Me Kate, Porter reduced Shakespeare to the level of pop entertainment, bringing it down from the cultural pedestal it has been on for ages. Cergainly Shakespeare's appeal has been broadened. Perhaps more people have seen Kiss Me Kate than have seen The Taming of the Shrew. Porter's witty songs are sung by many who have no idea where they came from. One of the most amusing numbers is sung by the two gangsters: Brush up Your Shakespeare. Porter's lyrics suggest (without using) words not at that time heard on the New York stage. Shakespeare, a fairly bawdy writer himself, would probably applaud.

In another piece, Wunderbar, Porter expresses his superiority to his characters when he has them sing, "Gazing down on the Jungfrau, from our secret chalet for two..." Of course this is a parody. They are reprising their work in a previous musical which took place in Switzerland. His characters are sophisticated enough to have heard of the Jungfrau, but not sophisticated enough to know that there could be no chalet from which on could "look down" upon it!

Will the show go on? Will Lilli and Fred fall into each others arms by the end? The suspense is killing me!


Manchester Symphony Orchestra Personnel

Linda Kanzawa Ard, Concertmaster
Joyce Dubach *
Christina Beyer +^
Jaime Eller +^
Rebekah Yoder +^

Naida MacDermid *
Eric Stalter +^

Tim Spahr *
Laura Koczan +

Darrel Fiene *

Kathy Urbani

Sue Devito
Kathy Urbani

Ben Wiseman

English Horn
Ben Wiseman

Lila D. Hammer *
Mark W. Huntington
Sue Devito
Sue Devito
Mark Huntington

Erich Zummack *

Nancy Bremer *

Steven Hammer *
Richard Pepple
Nathan Reynolds +^

Joel Roman +^

Dr. Debora DeWitt

Amy Bixler +
Joy Pyle +

Robert G. Jones

* Denotes principal
+ Denotes MC student
^ Denotes MSO Scholarship recipient