Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Colonial Players Kiss Me, Kate

By • Mar 14th, 2008 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of the Colonial Players’ production of Kiss Me, Kate [MP3 5:27 2.5MB].

Kiss Me, Kate
Colonial Players
East Street Theatre, Annapolis, MD
$20/$15 Students and Seniors
Through April 5th

Laura: This is the ShowBizRadio Review of Kiss Me, Kate performed by the Colonial Players in Annapolis, Maryland. Mike and I saw the performance on Thursday evening, March 13, 2008.

Mike: This show featured such great dancing. There were three choreographers. They worked very well together. There were a lot of different styles of dancing. The singing was pretty good as well.

Laura: This was a fun show. The dancing was incredible. The singing was good. I could hear the singers over the orchestra which was really nice. I liked the enthusiasm and enjoyed the show very much.

Mike: Kiss Me, Kate is a musical with book by Samuel and Bella Spewack. Music and lyrics by Cole Porter. Vibrant young actors and dancers in a troupe touring Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew have backstage dramas that echo the explosive story of Petruchio and his reluctant Kate. Colorful both visually and verbally, Kiss Me, Kate is loaded with the wonderful music and spicy lyrics of the inimitable Cole Porter.

Laura: In The Taming of the Shrew the role of Kate, whose backstage name was Lilli, was played by Catherine Chiappa. I liked her. She was funny, mean and obviously hated men as she sang in one of her songs. She made sure everybody knew that. She had a pretty good range, although there were times when I couldn’t quite understand the words she was singing. She had a good (or bad) relationship with her ex-husband.

Mike: Her ex-husband Fred, who played Pertruchio in the show within a show, Taming of the Shrew, was played by Matt Garcia. I think it took him a little while to get warmed up. His song “Were Thine that Special Face”I think he did a better job on than he did earlier with “Wunderbar.” I think that just might have been warming up or the range wasn’t quite right for him, I wasn’t sure. He did make the Pertruchio character rather sympathetic. Fred we never quite warmed up to. He did become a schemer when he convinced the two gangsters that Lilli was going to leave the show. To a point he needed to do that to keep her around to finish the show. But it didn’t quite work well. One of the problems with the writing of this show is there are a lot of loose ends that you’re really not supposed to notice by the end of the show. That was not explored well. They may not have been able to explore that well.

Laura: One of the loopholes was Fred’s love interest in the show. Lois, who in the Taming of the Shrew played Bianca, was played by Jamie Miller. Her one really good solo song was “Always True To You In My Fashion.” She could really belt that out. I liked it. I liked her energy and enthusiasm very much.

Mike: The show featured a lot of great dancing. There were three choreographers for this show. They each handled a separate set of music. The choreographers were Nancy Dall, Matt Macis, and Theresa Olson. One of the numbers that really stood out was the opening of the second act, “Too Darn Hot.” It was very creative. There was no time for anything to be happening. The way it grew in intensity throughout the song and the dancing was a very nice way to start the second act. One thing that happened was hopefully just a coincidence. In the first act the theater temperature got really warm. People in the audience were fanning themselves and taking off their jackets and things. The air conditioner was turned on at intermission. I hope it was just a coincidence that the first song of the second act was “Too Darn Hot” and it wasn’t just to set the mood. The choreography definitely added to the quality of the show and it became a high point. The dancing was really complex.

Laura: Something else I really liked was watching the stage crew and the way they handled the scene changes and the props that they brought on and off. They were really fast and fluid. There were a couple times when the lights came up a little bit early, but they did what they had to do and then either got in their places or got off the stage.

Mike: I think the costumes were also very nicely done. The costumes were designed by Mary Schmidt. They were fairly simple. The backstage costumes were different stages of dress for getting ready to go on stage. Once they were on stage, the colorful 16th century costumes of the people in Italy worked very well. I liked that they didn’t try to get too fancy with the costumes. For example, Kate stayed in the same costume for the entire part of the show when she was on stage as Catherine. It wasn’t distracting although it could have been. It worked really well since you saw a lot of the performers at different times backstage and on stage as well as several different parts in the ensemble. It could have beeen really distracting if they had had to change costumes every single time.

Laura: Kiss Me, Kate was approximately two hours and forty minutes with one intermission. It is playing through Saturday, April 5. There are no performances Easter weekend. Performances are Thursday through Saturday at 8 PM, a Sunday matinee on the 16th at 2:30 and Sunday the 30th at 7:30 at the East Street Theatre in Annapolis, Maryland. I recommend you see this show. It was a lot of fun.

Mike: We’d like to invite you to join our free mailing list so you can stay informed with what’s happening in the DC Region community theater.

Laura: And now, on with the show.


  • Hattie: Michelle Harmon
  • Ralph/Principal Dancer: Monica Anderson
  • Paul/Gremo: Nathan Bowen
  • Commander’s Aide/Principal Dancer/Hortensio: Trent Goldsmith
  • Lois/Bianca: Jamie Miller
  • Bill/Lucentio: Ronnie Schronce
  • Harry/Baptista: Robert Hardy
  • Ensemble: E. Aubrey Baden, Christiana Bartone, Carol Anne Drescher, Brenda Garcia, Heather Harris, Matk Kidwell, Erik, Springer-Emerson, Bronwyn Van Joolen
  • Lilli/Kate: Catherine Chiappa
  • Fred/Pertuchio: Matt Garcia
  • Gangster One: Steve Migdall
  • Gangster Two: Jeff Sprague
  • Cmdr. Howell: Michael Rease


  • Brian Butler: Saxophone
  • Tim DeLoache: Drums
  • Ron Giddings: Piano
  • Michael Harrison: Drums
  • Pete Thompson: Guuitar
  • Krystal Williams: Saxophone


  • Director: Beverly Hill van Joolen
  • Assistant Director: Jim Murphy
  • Music director: Pete Thompson
  • Choreographers: Nancy Dall, Matt Macis, Theresa Olson
  • Stage Manager: Gunarso Nguyen
  • Production Manager: Vincent van Joolen
  • Set Design: Gary Adamson
  • Lead Carpenter: Dick Whaley
  • Carpenters: Norm James, Lee Kraft, Jim Robinson, Ted Yablonski
  • Set Painting: Gary Adamsen, Alex Banos, Michelle Studnicky, Kara Valliere, Beverley van Joolen, Bronwyn van Joolen, Skylar van Joolen, Vince van Joolen
  • The Bird: Frank Pitelli, Dick Whaley
  • Lighting Design: Alex Banos
  • Lighting Technicians: Alex Banos, Marie Oliver
  • Sound Design: Richard Atha-Nicholls
  • Sound Technicians: Skylar van Joolen, Sara Foreman
  • Costume Design: Mary Schmidt
  • Costume Assistants: Jocelyn Bartone, Elizabeth Hudson
  • Props: Denise Traynor
  • Artistic Liaison: Beth Whaley
  • Production Liaison: Karen Cannon, Dottie Meggars
  • Dramaturge: Beverly Hill van Joolen
  • Playbill/Poster Design: Jim Gallagher
  • Photography: R.A.R.E. Photographic
  • Program Editor: Tom Stuckey
  • Lobby Display: Ron Giddings, Jim Murphy, Beverly Hill van Joolen
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