DeWITT, Iowa — The Wartburg Players and Wartburg College music department are bringing the Cole Porter musical masterpiece, “Kiss Me, Kate,” to DeWitt’s Central Performing Arts Center Saturday, Feb. 2.
A cast of 30 Wartburg students and one chemistry professor will perform Porter’s biggest Broadway hit —featuring a play (William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew”) within a play. All tickets are $10 for the 7:30 p.m. performance.
“Kiss Me, Kate” debuted in 1948 as Porter’s first musical with a scripted storyline and won the first Tony Award for best musical. Fifty years later, it won another Tony for best musical revival.
The plot involves the egotistical producer, director and star of a foundering touring company. He recruits his ex-wife, a movie-star diva, to save his musical adaptation of the Shakespeare comedy. Mismatched lovers and gambling debts owed gangsters, who also portray actors in the musical, add to the mischief.
“It’s a big Broadway musical,” said Dr. William Earl, associate professor of communication arts who directs the Wartburg Players theater group. “It’s one of the great war horses of theater with all the elements — terrific music and dancing, gangsters, and backstage and onstage intrigue.”
Describing a recent revival of the musical, a critic wrote, “Cole Porter's unbeatable songs, divas, gangsters, dancing, jokes, and even Shakespeare make ‘Kiss Me, Kate’ all that it is … pure fun.”
Dr. Brian Pfaltzgraff, associate professor of voice, is teaming with Earl to present the latest in an annual series of Wartburg musicals. A number of the student performers are veterans of the 2010 production of “Oliver” and the 2011 opera workshop. “Kiss Me, Kate” will be performed at Wartburg College Feb. 21-23.
Mariah Driscoll, a freshman from DeWitt, is in the chorus.
Tickets are available at DeWitt City Hall, the Central Administration Building and online at midwestix.com.
Fred Graham/Petrucchio: Christopher Kurt, senior, Independence
Lilli Vanessi/Kate: Anne Bomgaars, senior, Sheldon
Lois Lane/Bianca: Cailee Whitefield, junior, San Antonio, Texas
Bill Calhoun/Lucentio: Gregory DiMarco, junior, Mason City
Harrison Howell: Denis Drolet, associate professor chemistry
First Man (Gangster): Maddie Paxton, senior, Milford
Second Man (Gangster): Jenna Buhr, senior, Cedar Rapids
Harry Trevor/Baptista: Andrew Tubbs, sophomore, Des Moines
Hattie: Lauren Matysik, junior, Miramar Beach, Fla.
Paul: Justin Cervantes, junior, Cedar Rapids
Gremio: Kyle Harms, sophomore, Independence
Soprano — Emma Hellevik, junior, Medford, Minn.; Mariah Driscoll, freshman, DeWitt; Mackenzie Walsh, sophomore, San Antonio, Texas; Carrie Pont, freshman, Oelwein.
Alto — Erin Gleason, freshman, Platteville, Wis.; Haley Flores, senior, Dysart; Elizabeth Jewitt, freshman, Round Lake Heights, Ill.; Gregena Heard, junior, East St. Louis, Ill.; Alexandria Plumb, freshman, Spirit Lake.
Tenor — Trent Teske, sophomore, New Providence; Michael Sauer, sophomore, LeMars; Koby Edler, sophomore, Fairbank; Chad Nelsen, sophomore, Rock Valley; Drew Peeler, sophomore, Indianola.
Bass — Brady Frieden, freshman, Donahue; Sam Miller, sophomore, Ida Grove; Myles Finn, sophomore, Manchester; Connor Koppin, senior, Mason City; Ben Sande, junior, Adel.
Wartburg Players cast members Christopher Kurt and Anne Bomgaars have the lead roles in ‘Kiss Me, Kate,” the Cole Porter musical that will be performed 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2 at DeWitt’s Central Performing Arts Center.
For more information, contact Saul Shapiro, Wartburg College Office of Marketing and
Communication, 319 352-8379 or