MARIETTA — “Kiss me Kate” The newest production from the Peoples Bank Theater in Marietta opens at 8pm today.
“Kiss me Kate” runs Friday, Saturday, July 1 and July 2 at 8pm and Sunday at 2:30pm. Tickets range from $21 to $34 and are available online at peoplesbanktheatre.com or by calling the box office at 740-371-5152.
The classic musical comedy premiered on Broadway in 1948 and is set in mid-century Baltimore. The show within the show features almost every cast member playing two roles: an actor in a traveling variety theater company and a character performing a musical production of William Shakespeare “Taming of the Shrew.”
Cast, crew and orchestra consist of regional talents and professionals imported from abroad. Of the leading actors, Samuel Witmer lives in Athens, Anna Caldwell lives in Chicago but graduated from Athens High School and Avery Carlson and Aleksander Papanastasopoulos traveled from New York for their roles.
Director Geoffrey Coward, Associate Music Director/Conductor David Tadlock and Choreographer Jill Ruff overcame the challenges of auditioning during COVID-19 restrictions by encouraging remote online submissions earlier this year.
The Peoples Bank production of “Kiss me Kate” differs visually from previous Broadway musicals that have appeared at the venue, including “Oklahoma!” in 2016, “Cabaret” in 2017 and “Boys and Dolls” in 2018.
“We decided to take the ‘concert’ approach, putting the orchestra on stage with the fully costumed, staged and choreographed production, aided by occasional captions to keep the story within a story on track for the audience.” said coward.
The play features 27 performers and 17 musicians.
The cast is:
* Lilli Vanessi/Katherine: Anna Caldwell
* Fred Graham/Petruchio: Sam Witmer
*Lois Lane/Bianca Minola: Avery Carlson
* Bill Calhoun/Lucentio: Aleksander Papanastasopoulos
* Harry Trevor/Baptista Minola: Tyler Thress
* Pops/Concierge/Singer 2, Andres Moledo
* Hattie/Lilli’s dresser: Madison Merlanti
* Paul/Fred’s Dresser: Benjamin Eisenhour
* Ralph/Stage Manager: Tim Tuten
* Harrison Howell: Chuck Swaney
* First Man: Vickers Beach
* Second husband: Christopher Bowmaster
* Riley/Gremio/Male Dancer 1: Orion Carter
* Flynt/Hortensio/Male Dancer 2: Tim Kelsey
* Male Dancers: Jaston Brooks, Zachary Biggs
* Singer: Derek Smith
* Dancers: Allie Sheski, Courtney Griffiths, Allyson Dietz, Julia Ruggirello.
* Singers: Ellie Yeater, Victoria Humphrey, Lauren Giles, Hannah Nolen, Genevieve Shaftel, Karen Parlett
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