MARIETA — “Kiss me, Kate” the latest production from the Peoples Bank Theater in Marietta, opens today at 8 pm.
“Kiss me, Kate” runs at 8 pm on Fridays, Saturdays, July 1 and 2 and at 2:30 pm on Sundays. Tickets are $21-$34 and are available online at peoplesbanktheatre.com or by calling the box office at 740-371-5152.
The classic musical comedy opened on Broadway in 1948 and is set in mid-century Baltimore. The show within a show features nearly every member of the cast playing two roles: an actor in a traveling vaudeville theater company and a character playing a musical production of William Shakespeare. “The Taming of the Shrew.”
The cast, crew, and orchestra are comprised of regional and professional talent imported from out of state. Of the lead actors, Samuel Witmer lives in Athens, Anna Caldwell resides in Chicago but graduated from Athens High School, and Avery Carlson and Aleksander Papanastasopoulos traveled from New York to play their roles.
Director Geoffrey Coward, Associate Music Director/Director David Tadlock and Choreographer Jill Ruff overcame audition challenges during COVID-19 restrictions by encouraging remote online performances earlier this year.
The production of the Popular Bank of “Kiss me, Kate” is visually different from previous Broadway musicals that have appeared at the venue, including “Oklahoma!” in 2016, “Cabaret” in 2017, and “Boys and Dolls” in 2018.
“We decided to take the ‘concert’ approach by putting the orchestra on stage with the fully dressed, staged and choreographed production in front, aided by occasional subtitles to keep the story within a story on track for the audience.” Coward he said.
The play features 27 cast members and 17 musicians.
The cast is:
* Lilli Vanessa/Katherine: Anna Caldwell
* Fred Graham/Petruchio: Sam Witmer
*Lois Lane/Bianca Minola: Avery Carlson
* Bill Calhoun/Lucencio: Aleksander Papanastasopoulos
* Harry Trevor/Baptista Minola: Tyler Thress
* Pops/Goalkeeper/Male Singer 2, Andres Moledo
* Hattie/Lilli’s dresser: Madison Merlanti
* Paul/Fred Dresser: Benjamin Eisenhour
*Ralph/Stage Manager: Tim Tuten
Harrison Howell: Chuck Swaney
* First Man: Vickers Beach
* Second Man: Christopher Bowmaster
* Riley/Guild/Dancer 1: Orion Carter
* Flynt/Hortensio/Dancer 2: Tim Kelsey
* Male dancers: Jaston Brooks, Zachary Biggs
* Male Singer: Derek Smith
* Dancers: Allie Sheski, Courtney Griffiths, Allyson Dietz, Julia Ruggirello.
* Female singers: Ellie Yeater, Victoria Humphrey, Lauren Giles, Hannah Nolen, Genevieve Shaftel, Karen Parlett