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September 24, 2011

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'Kiss Me, Kate' a rollicking musical

AN Australian production of "Kiss Me, Kate," the famous 1948 Broadway musical, will be staged from next Wednesday to October 3 at the renovated People Grand Theater.

Cole Porter's "Kiss Me, Kate," which is now a favorite around the world, won the first Tony award in 1949. The 1999 Broadway revival won four Tony awards including Best Musical, Composer and Lyricist, Best Author and Best Revival.

"It will be a colorful and vital show with lots of singing and dancing that everybody can enjoy," says director John Burden. "I know many classic Broadway musicals have visited already, but I assure you that 'Kiss Me, Kate' won't disappoint you and it will make you laugh all night."

"Kiss Me, Kate" with music and lyrics by Cole Porter is structured as a play within a play. The interior play is a musical version of Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew." A divorced couple, Frederic and Lilli, have been cast as the couple in Shakespeare's comedy, with predictably funny results.

It was first staged at a peak period for American musicals and marked a comeback for Porter; it was his biggest hit, a response to Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Oklahoma!" and other integrated musicals.

"An integrated musical, it combines singing, dancing and acting and is typical of American musicals at the time," says Jin Fuzai, vice president of China Musical Institute.

Soprano Jessica O'Dononghue plays Lilli. She has taken leading roles in operas including the "Magic Flute," "Romeo and Juliet" and "La Boheme," while she was with the Queensland Opera House from 2005 to 2007.

Kyle Sapsford plays Frederic.

Compared with other musicals adapted from classics, "Kiss Me, Kate" is an interestingly plotted show, which is also easy to understand, according to Burden. Creative stage sets, lively dancing and body language make the story accessible to all audiences. Chinese subtitles will be provided.

"It will be like my watching Chinese TV series. With good international language, even Chinese plays are not that difficult for me to understand," says Burden.

"Kiss Me, Kate" will be the first musical to be staged in the renovated People Grand Theater since it reopened in May.

"With all the people and cars right at the gate of the theater, I feel like I'm on Broadway again," says Burden.

Date: September 28-October 3, 7:30pm

Venue: People Grand Theater, 663 Jiujiang Rd

Tickets: 180-880 yuan

Tel: 6120-4560, 962-388


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