Davis Gaines & Victoria Strong to Star in in Cabrillo Music Theatre's KISS ME, KATE; Cast Announced
When Cole Porter met William Shakespeare, the result was a Tony Award-winning musical. When Southern California's Longest-Running "Phantom," Davis Gaines, meets Cabrillo Music Theatre, it all adds up to the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza premiere of Porter's most raucous, sexy, and best loved musical ever, KISS ME, KATE! Cabrillo Music Theatre's 20th Anniversary Season kicks off with the popular favorite on Friday, October 18th, 2013, playing until Sunday, October 27th, at the 1,800-seat Kavli Theatre at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, located at 2100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard in Thousand Oaks.
KISS ME KATE has been charming audiences for generations. With a clever combination of Shakespeare's TAMING OF THE SHREW and backstage shenanigans during the production of a musical version of the play, KATE, with a book by Sam and Bella Spewak, is considered to contain Cole Porter's most popular score. It's no wonder that the show, a Tony winner for Best Musical, was later revived on Broadway, winning another for Best Revival. The movie version, starring Howard Keel, Kathryn Grayson, and Ann Miller (and featuring Bob Fosse and Bobby Van in small roles) became a classic as well.
The plot brings together a self-absorbed director/star, his temperamental ex-wife/co-star, a fame-driven starlet, a fast-footed gambler, a pair of hoodlums, a power-mad General, and many others, as the comedy confusion flies fast and furious. The score leaps nimbly from hit song to hit song, including "Too Darn Hot," "Another Op'nin', Another Show," "So In Love," "I Hate Men," "Tom, Dick or Harry," and "Brush Up Your Shakespeare," to name just a few. And the dances run the full range of musical theatre styles, dazzling at every turn. The result is a unique blend that has audiences laughing and cheering from beginning to end.
Theatre star Davis Gaines makes his Cabrillo Music Theatre debut as FrEd Graham, the production's leading man and director, as well as the role of Petruchio in the show-within-the-show TAMING OF THE SHREW. A popular theatre favorite for years, Gaines is perhaps best known as the title role in THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, a role he has played more times in Southern California than any other actor in history. The recent Ovation Award Winner will join forces with Southern California theatre mainstay Victoria Strong as Lilli Vanessi (also as "Kate," the shrew), Scott Reardon ("Prince Dauntless" in Cabrillo's ONCE UPON A MATTRESS) as Bill Calhoun and Lucentio, and Reba Buhr ("Sally" in Cabrillo's CHARLIE BROWN) as Lois Lane/Bianca. Local theatre favorites, and frequent Cabrillo stars, Steven Perren and Ronald Rezac play GenerAl Harrison Howell and Harry Trevor/Baptista Minola, respectively. A talented ensemble of dancers and singers make up the 31-member cast.
Directing will be Southern California favorite Richard Israel, returning to Cabrillo after last year's successful ONCE UPON A MATTRESS. John Todd makes his Cabrillo debut as Choreographer, and Darryl Archibald returns as Musical Director, leading the full, professional Cabrillo Music Theatre Orchestra. "I can't believe that KISS ME, KATE has never been performed in the Civic Arts Plaza, "says Lewis Wilkenfeld, Cabrillo's Artistic Director. "It's one of the very few 'classics' that has been on our audience's wish lists for years and years! I'm very pleased to be able to finally give this show the Cabrillo quality production it deserves." Adds Wilkenfeld, "With Davis Gaines in the starring role, making his local debut, KATE will be more than 'another op'nin', another show,' - it promises to be 'too darn hot,' too!!