Kiss Me, Kate

Original Broadway Production

Kiss Me, Kate [program]

A Musical Play in Two Acts
Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter
Book by Sam and Bella Spewack, loosely based on Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew

Tryouts began December 2, 1948 at the Shubert Theatre, Philadelphia

Opened December 30, 1948 at the New Century Theatre, NYC
Transferred on July 41, 1950 to the Sam S. Shubert Theatre
Closed July 28, 1951
Ran for 1077 performances
Produced by Saint Subber and Lemuel Ayers
Production staged by John C. Wilson
Choreography by Hanya Holm
Settings and costumes by Lemuel Ayers
Musical Director: Pembroke Davenport
Orchestrations by Robert Russell Bennett
Incidental ballet music arranged by Genevieve Pitot


While cast members of a musical version of The Taming of the Shrew celebrate "Another Op'nin', Another Show", the show's stars, Fred Graham and Lilli Vanessi, celebrate the first anniversary of their divorce.  They take time from their bickering to recall they had once sung "Wunderbar" in a long-forgotten operetta.  Lilli receives a bouquet from Fred, leading her to believe he still loves her, and she confesses she is still "So in Love" with him, but when she learns the flowers are meant for Lois, the show's ingenue, she determines to be revenged.  Fred's problems are compounded when Lois' boyfriend, Bill Calhoun, signs Fred's name to a gambling debt.  Opening night is peppered by warfare between Fred and Lilli, and by demands from two comic hoods for payment of the debt.   In the course of the evening Fred and Lilli recognize they still do love each other.


Alfred Drake (Fred Graham / Petruchio)
Patricia Morison (Lilli Vanessi / Katherine)
Harold Lang (Bill Calhoun / Lucentio)
Lisa Kirk (Lois Lane / Bianca)

Annabelle Hill (Hattie), Thomas Hoier (Harry Trevor / Baptista), Don Mayo (Ralph), Lorenzo Fuller (Paul), Bill Lilling (Stage Doorman), Harry Clark (First Man), Jack Diamond (Second Man), Denis Green (Harrison Howell), Edwin Clay (Gremio), Charles Wood (Hortensio), John Castello (Haberdasher), Marc Breaux (Tailor), Fred Davis and Eddie Sledge (Specialty Dancers)

Note: Italicized roles are characters in the "Taming of the Shrew" portion of the show

Replacement Cast [at the Sam S. Shubert Theatre (1950)]

Ted Scott (Fred Graham / Petruchio)
Anne Jeffreys (Lilli Vanessi / Katherine)
Danny Daniels (Bill Calhoun / Lucentio)
Betty Ann Grove (Lois Lane / Bianca)

Helen Dowdy (Hattie), Thomas Hoier (Harry Trevor / Baptista), Angus Cairns (Ralph), Lorenzo Fuller (Paul), Dan Brennan (Stage Doorman), Harry Clark (First Man), Jack Diamond (Second Man), Don Mayo (Harrison Howell), Edwin Clay (Gremio), Charles Wood (Hortensio), Marc Breaux (Haberdasher), Fred Davis and Eddie Sledge (Specialty Dancers)

Musical Numbers and Scenes

Cole Porter appears on the cover of
the January 31, 1949 issue of Time

Time Magazine, January 31, 1949

    Act One

    • Overture - Orchestra
    Scene 1: Stage of Ford Theatre, Baltimore.
    • "Another Op'nin', Another Show" - Hattie, Company
    Scene 2: The Corridor Backstage.
    • "Why Can't You Behave?" - Lois
    Scene 3: Fred and Lilli's Dressing-rooms.
    • "Wunderbar" - Lilli, Fred
    • "So in Love" - Lilli
    Scene 4: "The Taming of the Shrew": Padua
    • "We Open in Venice" - Katherine, Petruchio, Bianca, Lucentio
    Scene 5: "The Taming of the Shrew": Street Scene, Padua
    • Dance (End Padua Street Scene) (Dancing Ensemble)
    • "Tom, Dick or Harry" - Bianca, Lucentio, Hortensio, Gremio
    • Rose Dance (Lucentio)
    • "I've Come to Wive It Wealthily in Padua" - Petruchio, Men's Chorus
    • "I Hate Men" - Katherine
    • "Were Thine That Special Face" - Petruchio
    Scene 6: Backstage.
    Scene 7: Fred and Lilli's Dressing-rooms.
    Scene 8: "The Taming of the Shrew": Exterior Church.
    • "I Sing of Love" - Bianca, Lucentio, Company
    • Tarantella (Bianca, Lucentio and Dancing Ensemble)
    • "Finale Act I - So, Kiss Me Kate" - Petruchio, Katherine, Company

    Act Two

    • Entr'acte - Orchestra
    Scene 1: Theatre Alley.
    • "Too Darn Hot" - Paul, Specialty Dancers
    Scene 2: Before the Curtain.
    Scene 3: "The Taming of the Shrew": Petruchio's House.
    • "Where is the Life That Late I Led?" - Petruchio
    Scene 4: The Corridor Backstage.
    • "Always True to You in My Fashion" - Lois
    Scene 5: Fred and Lilli's Dressing-rooms.
    Scene 6: The Corridor Backstage.
    • "Bianca" - Bill
    • "So in Love" (reprise) - Fred
    Scene 7: Before the Asbestos Curtain.
    • "Brush Up Your Shakespeare" - Gangsters (First Man, Second Man)
    Scene 8: "The Taming of the Shrew": Baptista's Home.
    • "I Am Ashamed That Women Are So Simple" - Katherine
    • Pavanne (Dancing Ensemble)
    • "Finale Act II - So, Kiss Me Kate"- Petruchio, Katherine, Company

Cut Songs

  • "It Was Great Fun the First Time" [dropped during rehearsals; intended for Fred and Lilli]
  • "If Ever Married I'm" [dropped during rehearsals; intended for Bianca]
  • Harlequin Ballerina [instrumental; deleted section of the Padua Street Scene dance]
  • "We Shall Never Be Younger" [unused; intended for Lilli]
  • "A Woman's Career" [unused; intended for Lilli and Fred]
  • "What Does Your Servant Dream About?" [unused]
  • "I'm Afraid, Sweetheart, I Love You" [unused]

Kiss Me Kate, 78 RPM Box Set

Original Cast Recording

Produced for records by Mitchell Ayres
Recording engineer: Harold Chapman
Recorded January 13, 1949 at the CBS 30th Street Studios, NYC
All releases are mono

  • 78 RPM [6 discs], 1949 [Columbia C-200 (55042-55047)]
  • LP, 1949 [Columbia 4140]
  • Compact Disc, 1989 [Columbia CK 4140]
  • Compact Disc (remastered), 1998 [Sony 60536]

Contemporaneous Recordings

"So in Love" - Patti Page

  • 78 RPM, 1949 [Mercury 5230] Charted on February 12, 1949; peaked at #13

"So in Love" - Gordon MacRae

  • 78 RPM, 1949 [Capitol 15357] Charted on March 5, 1949; peaked at #20

"So in Love" - Dinah Shore

  • 78 RPM, 1949 [Columbia 38399] Charted on March 19, 1949; peaked at #20

"So in Love" / "Why Can't You Behave" - Bing Crosby with Vic Schoen and his orchestra

  • 78 RPM, 1949 [Decca 24559]

Go to the 1951 London Production of Kiss Me, Kate
Go to the Film Version of Kiss Me, Kate
Go to Recordings of Kiss Me, Kate
Go to the 1999 Broadway Revival of Kiss Me, Kate
Go to the 2001 London Revival of Kiss Me, Kate

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