Fans of the hit Broadway sensation “Kiss Me, Kate” will be able to experience the show for the next two weekends courtesy of UF’s School of Theatre and Dance. The cast will perform the Tony Award-winning musical at the Constans Theatre, while in celebration of the theater’s own 50th anniversary.
According to the press release, “Kiss Me, Kate” was created after Arnold Saintsubber, who would later go on to become a Tony Award-winning Broadway producer, was inspired by both onstage and offstage feuds between actors Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne while they created a 1935 rendition of “Taming of the Shrew.” The original “Kiss Me, Kate” debuted in December 1948 and has endured as a beloved musical since. The musical has been produced on Broadway as well as in countries like England, Australia and more.
UF’s rendition of the musical is directed by Tony Mata and is under the musical direction of new faculty member Matt Morgan. The two hope to “bring comedy, music and laughter to new audiences and theater connoisseurs alike,” according to the press release.
Tyler Peterson, a 20-year-old UF student pursuing a combined degree in theatre and a master of science in management, will star in “Kiss Me, Kate” as the role of General Harrison Howell. Peterson said that the audition process was extremely fun but nerve-wracking.
“During the callbacks they taught us a dance combination rapidly and had us sing cuts of different music,” Peterson said. “Overall it was a great experience.”
Peterson stressed that while the cast has been preparing nonstop for the show, the real backbone of the production goes to the background crew.
“The crew is the real heart of this production,” Peterson said. “Our stage management team has been working tirelessly day and night to create an awesome experience.”
The musical, which is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew,” is undoubtedly an abiding classic, which pairs well with the timelessness of the Constans Theatre on its 50th anniversary.
“The 50th anniversary of the Constans is a huge deal for the theatre community,” Peterson said. “For 50 years, UF’s theatre department has been entertaining the community while acting as a training grounds for young artists to grow.”
Peterson said “Kiss Me, Kate,” which was created in the ‘40s, embodies the Golden Age of Broadway and isn’t too topical in any sense. He added that the production is the perfect way for audience members to just have a good time and enjoy themselves.
“People can expect to have a lot of fun, that’s for sure,” Peterson said. “There’s lots of catchy songs and wacky characters — something for everyone.”
“Kiss Me, Kate” will be showing at the Constans Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 27 to 28, Oct. 31 to Nov. 4 and at 2 p.m. Oct. 29 and Nov. 5. The show will be $18 for the general public, $15 for seniors, $15 for UF faculty and staff and $13 for students.