US Stars Extend Ahead of UK Recast of Kiss Me KateDate: 10 April 2002
Three of the American leads - Brent Barrett, Nancy Anderson and Michael Beresse of the West End production of Kiss Me Kate have extended their contracts until 24 August 2002. The fourth - Marin Mazzie who plays Lili Vanessi/Katharine - will be replaced by two more Americans, Carolee Carmello (from 3 to 29 June) and Rachel York (from 1 July to 24 August).
From 26 August 2002, a full British company, not yet announced, will take over at the Victoria Palace Theatre, where the multi award-winning Broadway transfer has been playing since 20 October 2001 (previews from 16 October). The production is currently taking bookings up to 28 September 2002.
This current revival of Cole Porter's 1948 classic first opened in November 1999 at New York's Martin Beck Theatre, where it won five Tony Awards, six Drama Desk Awards and four Outer Critics' Circle Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical in all three. British director Michael Blakemore won both the Tony and Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Direction of a Musical.
In addition to nine Laurence Olivier nominations, the West End production has won the Evening Standard and Critics' Circle awards for Best Musical as well as the Whatsonstage.com Award for Best Musical Revival. Scenic design is by Robin Wagner, costume design by Martin Pakledinaz, lighting design by Peter Kaczorowski, sound by Tony Meola, orchestrations by Don Sebesky and dance arrangements by David Chase. The musical direction is by Paul Gemignani and choreography by Kathleen Marshall.
Carolee Carmello has already played the Lili/Kate role on Broadway, where her other credits include City of Angels, 1776, Parade and Bells Are Ringing. Rachel York has performed the same role on the production's US tour.
The London production of Kiss Me Kate is presented by its Broadway producers, Roger Berlind and Roger Horchow, with Nica Burns as associate producer.
- by Terri Paddock