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Kiss Me Kate Film Analysis Essay

A present day theatrical troupe is presenting Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew in Baltimore, Maryland. The cast includes Fred Graham and his former wife, Lilli; also Bill Calhoun, an irresponsible gambler, and the girl whom he is interested in, Lois Lane. Bill breaks down and confesses to Lois that he is involved with gangsters, who have his I.O.U. for $10,000 from a crap game. This is not the first time Lois has had to tolerate Bill's escapades, and she inquires poignantly why he cannot behave himself ("Why Can't You Behave?"). Meanwhile Fred and his ex-wife--though divorced--begin to realize that their one-time tender feelings for each other have not completely died out. They start to reminisce about the shows in which they had appeared--including an old-fashioned Viennese operetta ("Wunderbar"). Just before the opening night of The Taming of the Shrew, Fred sends his star, Lola, flowers. By mistake they come to Lilli's dressing room--further proof to her that Fred still loves her. She now openly reveals that that love is reciprocated ("So In Love").

On stage, the performance of The Taming of the Shrew is taking place ("We Open in Venice"). As a play within a play, we learn that Bianca cannot get married until her older sister, Katherine, has found a husband ("Tom, Dick and Harry"). When Petruchio arrives in Padua to seek out a rich wife ("I've Come to Wive it Wealthily in Padua") he is chosen for Katherine. The latter, a shrew, makes no attempt to conceal her feelings about men ("I Hate Men"), while Petruchio knows that Katherine is not the woman of his dreams ("Were Thine That Special Face"). Nevertheless, he agrees to marry her.

We are now transferred from Shakespeare's Padua back to the intrigues within the theatrical company. Having learned that Fred's flowers were meant for Lola, Lilli bursts into a fit of temper, and announces hotly that she is leaving the company for good. Her departure, however, is delayed by the arrival of gangsters coming to collect from Bill the $10,000 for his I.O.U.

In the second act we return to The Taming of the Shrew. Petruchio and Katherine are now man and wife. Since her violent tempers and caprices are complicating Petruchio's life to no end, he begins to recall nostalgically his single-blessedness ("Where Is the Life that Late I Led?"). Backstage, when Bill reprimands Lois for flirting with one of the actors, she makes light of her tendency to be fickle ("Always True to You In My Fashion"). But, for all his troubles with Lois, Bill has good cause for cheer. There has been a violent shake-up in the gangster world, as a result of which Bill's I.O.U. is no longer valid. Bill and Lois are now reconciled, and Katherine and Fred return to each other.

Kiss Me Kate is the high ground of Cole Porter's long and fruitful career as a composer for the musical theatre. It is the only one of his musicals to exceed a thousand performances on Broadway (1,077). It is also the only one given half-way around the world in over a dozen translations. In Poland Kiss Me Kate was the first American musical comedy ever seen there; and at the Volksoper in Vienna it proved the greatest box-office attraction in the sixty-odd-year history of that theatre. The strongest suit of this production is, of course, Cole Porter's music. Never before, or since, has he been so rich and varied in his invention. At turns he is satiric, witty, nostalgic, sensual. Walter F. Kerr did not overstate the case when in his review he remarked that the score is "one of the loveliest and most lyrical yet composed for the contemporary stage."

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  • Anything Goes - A synopsis and brief history of the musical by Cole Porter, Guy Bolton, P.G. Wodehouse, Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse.
  • Cole Porter: The Great Sophisticate - Biography of composer and lyricist Cole Porter and analysis of his contributions to the development of the American musical comedy.
  • Kiss Me, Kate - A brief history of the musical.
  • Purchase Sheet Music from all your favorite musicals!

The Film Kiss Me Kate versus The Taming of the Shrew by Shakespeare

602 Words3 Pages

The Film Kiss Me Kate versus The Taming of the Shrew by Shakespeare There have been many Shakespearean plays that have been made into movies throughout the years. One that may not be so easy to come across is “Kiss Me Kate”. This movie stars Kathryn Gayson ,as Lilli Vanessi, and Howard Keel, as Fred Graham. This is a adaptation of Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew.” The movie contains a story with in a story. The movie is about a man, named Fred Graham, who makes a recreation of the famous play. Many of the characters portray real life people who are some what identical to those in the play. The movie illustrates Shakespeare’s characters as he intended them to be and gives the viewer a good idea of what…show more content…

He begins throwing food around, yelling, and hitting the servants. He then states that he is going to keep her up all night and complain about many other things so that she will not be content (Act IV, Scene I). The whole act was planned to begin the process of “taming” Katherina. At the end of both the movie and the play, Katherina gives a very long speech that lets the audience know that she has now seen the errors of her ways. The play, on the other hand, gives a little more insight as to why the story ended this way. The two characters who play Bianca and Lucentio are also dating during the making of the play. Lois, who plays Bianca, is a very flirtatious woman who always seems to get more than her share of attention form men. Bianca is also a character who receives similar attention from men. These two roles fit hand and hand. Bill Calhoun plays Licentious, who eventually weds Bianca. Bill is dating Lois throughout the performance of the play. He, like Lucentio, feels insecure and worrisome about the way his relationship with the woman that he is in love with. When her and Lucentio get married in the movie, it appears to be directly following the wedding of her sister. In the play they are married in ACTIV and Katherina was married in ACTIII SCENE II. There is a lot of detail in between, that the movie does not show. For instance, the play talks about a man named Vicentio. This is the father of Lucentio. Tremio, Lucentio’s

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