Four Season's Theatre Begins 75th Anniversary Season With KISS ME, KATE This Weekend
KISS ME, KATE will reopen the historic Union Theater in August 2014, after two full years of renovations, and help them kick off their 75th season in style. In a nod to the Lunt and Fontanne production of The Taming of the Shrew that opened the Wisconsin Union Theater in 1939, Four Seasons Theatre presents Cole Porter's Kiss Me, Kate. This show-within-a-show follows Fred Graham and his leading lady (and ex-wife) Lili Vanessi as they fight, perform, and romance each other in a production of The Taming of the Shrew. Join in the fun with wonderful Porter tunes such as "So In Love", "Too Darn Hot", and "Always True to You in My Fashion"!
Featured as Fred Graham is guest artist Steven Koehler, whose recent credits include Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music with Skylight Musical Theatre, Lend Me a Tenor with Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, and Victory Farm with American Folklore Theater. Sparring with him as Lilli Vanessi is Madison favorite, Wendy Jones Hill, whose FST credits include Marmee in Little Women, Les Miserables, and directing and singing in several FST Songbook Shows. Joining them are Sarah Streich as Lois Lane, the night club performer getting her first big break and Michael Etzwiler as Bill Calhoun, the hoofer whose gambling debts threaten the entire production.
PRINCIPAL CAST BIOS:
Equity Guest Artist Steven Koehler (Fred Graham/Petruchio is thrilled to be back in Madison (UW Class of 1988) making his Four Seasons debut in Kiss Me, Kate at the spiffed-up Wisconsin Union Theater. Best known as "Lloyd" from Guys on Ice-which will be filmed for TV by Wisconsin Public Television this summer; some of his other credits include: The Sound of Music (Captain Von Trapp) and The Spitfire Grill (Caleb) with Skylight Music Theatre; Lend Me a Tenor (Tito) and Rabbit Hole (Howie) with Milwaukee Chamber Theatre; Camelot (Lancelot) with CTM; and Victory Farm (Wolfgang) with American Folklore Theatre. Steve teaches physics and acting at Milwaukee High School of the Arts. He and his wife Julie-Honey (UW Class of 1987) have been blessed with two boys-Alexander Steven (UW Class of 2017!) and Austin Max (17). ON WISCONSIN!!
Wendy Jones Hill (Lilli Vanessi/Katherine) has worked extensively in the Madison area as an actress, director and drama coach with many companies, including Four Seasons Theatre, CTM, Madison Opera, and the Madison Rep. FST credits include appearances in Great Dames Songbook, Les Miserables, and Little Women (Marmee). In addition, Wendy both directed and performed in four FST productions, including Side by Side by Sondheim, The Cole Porter Songbook, The Irving Berlin Songbook, and The Gershwin Songbook.
Michael Etzwiler (Bill Calhoun/Lucentio), native of Baraboo, teaches tap and Theatre Dance and Zumba at The Bravo Center, and choreographs for local theater productions. After graduating with honors with a BFA in Music Theater from University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Michael went on to study on scholarship with Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Center in Evanston Il, and then moved to NYC where he trained at Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway as well as many other notable studios. Michael danced in the National Tour of Cats, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat through Papermill Playhouse (Starring Patrick Cassidy, Debra Gibson, and the Osmond Second Generation), The Who's Tommy, and the '94 revival of Guys and Dolls, as well as many other regional productions and workshops including Madison Opera.
Sarah Streich (Lois Lane/Bianca) is a Chicagoland native, and studied theater at both Illinois State University and the College of DuPage. At the latter, she was a recipient of the John Belushi Memorial Scholarship. Some of her favorite shows there were Pippin, Balm in Gilead, The Amorous Flea, and Mother Courage and Her Children. A few years were spent in Rochester, MN, working at the Mayo Clinic and moonlighting as a singer in a band. She also performed in several productions with the Rochester Civic Theatre, including Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes and Lois Lane/Bianca in KISS ME KATE! This summer she will be celebrating the beginning of her tenth year in Madison, and in that time has had the pleasure to work with many local companies, including Strollers Theatre, Madison Theatre Guild, StageQ, and OUT!Cast. Previous roles with Four Seasons include Percy Talbot in The Spitfire Grill (in partnership with MTG) and Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady.
Guest Artist Andy White (Paul) is thrilled to be returning to the Madison stage as Paul! He is a 2005 graduate of Madison East High School and graduate of the musical theatre program at Pace University. Andy just concluded the national tour of Bring It On (Steven, u/s Randall). Additional credits include national tours of Shrek (brick pig, u/s Shrek) and Legally Blonde (Aaron, u/s Emmett).
WHEN: Friday 8/22 at 7:30 pm Saturday 8/23 at 7:30 pm, and Sunday, August 24 at 2 pm.
WHERE: Wisconsin Union Theater, 800 Langdon St, Madison, WI 53706
TICKETING INFORMATION: ($25-$40 based on location) are available through the UW Campus Arts Box Office at (608) 265-ARTS or at http://www.fourseasonstheatre.com