We’re holding auditions for our March 2020 musical ‘Kiss me Kate’!
Audition dates are 4th and 11th November 7:30 – 9:00pm at the Lever Club, Port Sunlight. 4th November will be giving out scripts and read through as well as singing the songs and 11th will be the auditions.
If you would like to audition for any parts, please email our director to show an interest and for any further information or queries about the auditions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note – there is a lovely old film of the show, with Howard Keel and Kathryn Grayson as Fred and Lilli… but we will be producing the 1999 Broadway revival (stage show) which is slightly different from the original production. To learn about the Broadway revival production, and to prepare for auditions or for your role in the chorus, please watch the show, and you’ll find the whole show (with sing-a-long subtitles!) on there. It’s a fantastic production -all filmed on stage – and the offstage and on stage character roles are very clear.
CAST: Please note – Each person will play an offstage character in the company who are staging “The Taming of the Shrew”. The company is small so each offstage character also plays an onstage character in the company’s performance. For example (see first row of the cast list below) Pops is the stage doorman when the company are in a theatre, but he is also an actor and plays the role of the Padua Priest in “The Shrew”
|Character (offstage)||Character (“Shrew”)||Voice – Solos & linesin songs etc.||Profile, playing age & build etc.|
|Pops (stagedoorman)||Plays Padua Priest||Baritone. Another Op’nin’, Another Show,I sing of Love, Bianca. Kiss Me Kate.||Older character – everyone’s “show” dad, kind & helpful.|
|Hattie (Lilli’s dresser) 2nd dance captain||Plays Serving lady to Katharine/Kate||Mezzo soprano. Another Op’nin’, Another Show, Kiss Me Kate.||30s-40s, busy, unflappable, discreet and trustworthy. Paul’s girlfriend.|
|Stagehand #1 (electrician)||Plays Nathaniel – servant to Petruchio||Baritone Another Op’nin’, Another Show, I sing of Love, Bianca, Kiss me Kate||30s-40s actor/technician, good humoured/long suffering|
|Stagehand # 2 (assistant electrician)||Plays Philip – servant to Petruchio and half of the pantomime donkey||Baritone. Another Op’nin’, Another Show, I sing of Love, Bianca, Kiss Me Kate||30s-40s actor/technician, good humoured/long suffering and energetic as the pantomime donkey|
|Stagehand #3 (carpenter and driver to General Howell)||Plays Haberdasher and half of the pantomime donkey||Baritone Another Op’nin’, Another Show, I sing of Love, Bianca, Kiss Me Kate||30s-40s actor/technician, good humoured/long suffering and energetic as the pantomime donkey|
|Wardrobe mistress & wardrobe ladies||Play Ensemble Singers||Mezzo Soprano. Another Op’nin’, Another Show, I sing of Love, Bianca, Kiss Me Kate||Older more experienced performers who mentor younger seamstresses|
|Ensemble ladies||Play Padua Inn waitresses, ensemble singers and ensemble dancers.||Mezzo soprano/alto/mixed Another Op’nin’, Another Show, I sing of Love, Bianca, Kiss Me Kate||20s-30s, Strong singers & dancers|
|Ensemble men (below)||Play Padua Inn customers, ensemble singers and ensemble dancers||Baritone/Bass baritone/mixed Another Op’nin’, Another Show, I sing of Love, Bianca, Kiss Me Kate||20s-30s. Strong singers & dancers|
|Paul (Fred’s dresser) dance captain||Plays Gregory – servant to Petruchio||Tenor/Baritone Too Darn Hot, I sing of Love, Bianca, Kiss me Kate||40s. A “seen it all” confidante to Fred. Strong singer and dancer|
|Ralph (stage manager)||Plays Ensemble Singer||No solos but sings in ensemble||Older character – serious, loud voice|
|Lois Lane||Plays Bianca Minola||Mezzo Soprano. Why can’t you behave, Tom, Dick or Harry,Always True to You in My Fashion, Kiss me Kate (finale)||Early 20s – A cute, dim-witted but lovable nightclub singer. “The Shrew” is Lois’ first ‘featured’ role on the stage. She is ambitiousand grateful to Fred for his support.|
|Bill Calhoun||Plays Lucentio(suitor)||Baritone. Why can’t you behave? I sing of Love,Bianca, Kiss me Kate.||Late 20s – early 30s. A Broadway “hoofer”, Lois’ boyfriend and a hopeless gambler.|
|Lilli Vanessi||Plays Katharine/Kate||Soprano. Wunderbar, So in Love, We open in Venice, I Hate Men, From this moment on, I am ashamed that women are so simple. Kiss me Kate.||Early-Mid 30s. Experienced “star”stage and screen actress. Lilli is the leading lady of “The Shrew” and Fred’s recently divorced ex-wife.|
|Fred Graham||Plays Petruchio, Katharine’s husband||Baritone. Wunderbar, We Open in Venice, I’ve come to Wive it wealthily in Padua, Were thine thy special face, Kiss Me Kate, Where is the Life that late I led? So in Love.||Late 30s – Early 40s. Fred is an experienced writer, producer, director, actor and theatrical ‘superman’.|
|Harry Trevor||Plays BaptistaMinola(Katharine’s Dad)||No solos but sings in ensemble||Older character – veteran Broadway character actor|
|First Man/Gangster||Plays an “Aide” to Katherine/Lilli||Baritone. Brush up your Shakespeare||Middle aged debt collector/gunman gangster & half donkey in finale|
|Second Man/Gangster||Plays an “Aide to Katherine/Lilli||Baritone. Brush up your Shakespeare||Middle aged debt collector/gunman gangster & half donkey in finale|
|Flynt (aide to General)||Plays Gremio (first suitor)||Baritone. Bianca, I sing of Love. Kiss me Kate||Strong physique & motorcyclist|
|Riley (aide to General)||Plays Hortensio (second suitor)||Baritone. Bianca, I Sing of Love. Kiss me Kate||Strong physique & motorcyclist|
|General Harrison Howell||The general is the only character who does not play a role in “The Taming of The Shrew”.||Bass Baritone. From this moment on.||50s – square-jawed, with a strong physique. Harrison is a career minded, military officer, a newly appointed politician, friend of the president& Lilli’s “new” man.|
It is 1952 and a musical version of “The Taming of the Shrew” is about to open in Baltimore, USA. Performing in the show, with producer &actor-manager Fred Graham, are the leading lady (his former wife) LilliVanessi; Lois Lane, a young nightclub singer in whom he is ‘interested’, and Bill Calhoun, who is Lois’s boyfriend… and a busy, but not very successful gambler.Soon after the cast arrive at the Theatre,Bill arrives late and tells Lois that he has signed Fred’s name to a $10,000 IOU for his own gambling debts. She begs him to reform, stop gambling and to pay the debt back before the “heavies” come looking for Fred. She also reminds him that Fred has given them both their “big break” in the Theatre and they should respect him rather than ‘stich him up’ with a gambling debt.
Backstage in adjoining dressing rooms, Fred and Lilli snipe and bicker… then they reminisce nostalgically about other shows they have appeared in together – it’s clear that they still love each other and, after singing “Wunderbar”, they eventually kiss and begin to patch up their differences. Soon after, Fred sends a ‘good luck’ card &bouquet to Lois, which is delivered, in error, to Lilli. On stage, as Katherine in a public performance of “The Shrew”, Lilli discovers that the bouquet was meant for Lois; she is furious, refuses to kiss and is then spanked by Fred/Petruchio. And sheflounces angrily ‘offstage’. Her early departure, however, is prevented by two gangsters who have come to collect the IOU Bill forged withFred’s signature. They want the show to continue its run so that Fred can pay his debts back – so Lilli is forced (at gunpoint) to stay. As the first Act ends Lilli is raging, both as Kate in “The Shrew” and in reality – her fiancé (a self-important American general with political ambitions) is on his way from Washington to save her from the humiliation she says she’s suffered at the hands of Fred: but the 2 gangsters are dressed in “Shrew costumes” and accompany her everywhere- even on stage – so that she cannot leave.
Some of the actors are gathered, in their “Shrew” costumes during the interval, in the alley behind the theatre – they sing that it’s “Too darn hot!”, but rush back in to the theatre when they hear the opening bars of Act 2 of “The Shrew”. Fred (in costume as Petruchio) explains to the audience that Miss Vanessiis “indisposed” and unable to ride a donkey in the next scene. They must jump forward to the honeymoon scene, where Petruchio, just married to Katherine/Lilli, realises that married life will be hard – so he sings and yearns for his life as a single man. Backstage we learn that because of a sudden change in gang“administration” (their boss has been murdered by rival gangsters)the gangsterstear up the now worthless IOU andprepare to leave. Lilli’s newly promoted boyfriend, General Harrison Howell, appears and, released from the demands of the gangsters, she prepares to walk out on the show… Fred muses on his love for her and tries to stop her… but (even knowing that she loves him too) she still decides to leave to be married to the controlling and unfaithful general the next day. The two gangsters try to leave the theatre but get trapped in front of the show curtain – seeing the audience, they seize the opportunity to sing the show-stopping “Brush up Your Shakespeare” as the company wait backstage to carry on with “the Shrew” without their leading lady.Petruchio/Fred finally enters prepared for the worst, but as the show comes to a close, Lilli unexpectedly returns to the stage (dressed as Kate) and ‘in character’ agrees to be an obedient wife to Petruchio… andalso expresses her intention of returning to her ex-husband, Fred.
Fred/Petruchio and Lilli/Kate embrace – and it is the happiest kiss in all of kissing history – the company sing of love and the two gangsters appear as the pantomime donkey, laden with baskets of flower petals… which the company take and throw above the happy couple like confetti at a wedding. Curtain – the end.