Kiss Me, Kate [Original Broadway Cast]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Kiss Me, Kate was the most successful Broadway musical of Cole Porter's career, much to his and everyone else's surprise. Porter was thought to be in decline in the late '40s, having suffered such recent failures as Around the World in Eighty Days on-stage and The Pirate in movie theaters. Like Irving Berlin before Annie Get Your Gun, he was apprehensive about the prospect of writing character songs for a book musical in the manner of Rodgers & Hammerstein, having come out of a tradition in which the songs in a musical were more ornamental than substantive. And he was initially resistant to the idea for Kiss Me, Kate, a musical version of Shakespeare's The Taming ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Kiss Me, Kate was the most successful Broadway musical of Cole Porter's career, much to his and everyone else's surprise. Porter was thought to be in decline in the late '40s, having suffered such recent failures as Around the World in Eighty Days on-stage and The Pirate in movie theaters. Like Irving Berlin before Annie Get Your Gun, he was apprehensive about the prospect of writing character songs for a book musical in the manner of Rodgers & Hammerstein, having come out of a tradition in which the songs in a musical were more ornamental than substantive. And he was initially resistant to the idea for Kiss Me, Kate, a musical version of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. Nevertheless, the show opened to acclaim on December 30, 1948, and went on to a run of 1,077 performances, winning the first Tony Award given out for best musical. Some credit for that no doubt went to the clever book by Bella and Samuel Spewack, which gave the plot a backstage, show-within-a-show framework in which the actors were playing actors who were appearing in a musical version of The Taming of the Shrew, allowing Porter to write in both contemporary and Elizabethan modes. And the actors themselves -- Alfred Drake and Patricia Morison in the leading roles, Lisa Kirk and Harold Lang in the secondary ones -- added to the success of the work. But the main drawing card was still Porter, who turned in one of his most tuneful and witty collections of songs. The songwriter had plenty of fun with the situation, working in many references to the show business world he knew so well, not to mention the upper-class, Euro-centric world in which he also moved with ease. Then, too, the lyrics were full of puns and sly sexual references, also Porter hallmarks. This was a score that not only featured an excellent romantic ballad, "So in Love" quickly covered for chart records by Patti Page, Gordon MacRae, and Dinah Shore, but also a parody of operetta, "Wunderbar," that began with the geographic joke "Gazing down on the Jungfrau/From our secret chalet for two," an impossibility, since the Jungfrau is a mountain in the Swiss Alps that tops 13,000 feet! There were also patter songs, each boasting a seemingly endless series of riqué verses: "I've Come to Wive It Wealthily in Padua," "I Hate Men," "Where Is the Life That Late I Led," "Always True to You In My Fashion," and "Brush Up Your Shakespeare." Columbia Records, a recent entry into the original Broadway cast sweepstakes, decided to make a major statement with its recording of Kiss Me, Kate. The album was the first to be recorded primarily for the LP format that Columbia had just introduced, and was issued initially as a 12" LP at that, when most discs in the new configuration were only ten inches in diameter. Thus, there was room for 48 minutes' worth of music, and producer Mitchell Ayres left in bits of dialogue to introduce several songs. Columbia also opted to risk including most of the racy lyrics; only the completely unacceptable word "goddamned" was replaced by "doggone." The label was rewarded for its trouble with a commercial success that rivaled the stage production. Kiss Me, Kate spent ten weeks at number one in the Billboard LP chart.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/2/1998
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 074646053621
  • Catalog Number: 60536

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Alfred Drake Vocals, Track Performer, cast
Robert Russell Bennett Performing Ensemble
Lehman Engel Conductor
Lisa Kirk Vocals, Track Performer, cast
Pembroke Davenport Musical Direction
Fred Davis Vocals, Track Performer, cast
Harry Clark Vocals, Track Performer, cast
Edwin Clay Vocals, Track Performer, cast
Patricia Morison Vocals, cast
Marc Breauz cast
John Castello Vocals, cast
Jack Diamond Vocals, cast
Lorenzo Fuller Vocals, cast
Denis Green cast
Annabelle Hill Vocals, cast
Thomas Holer Vocals, cast
Harold Lang Vocals, cast
Bill Lilling cast
Don Mayo Vocals, cast
Eddie Sledge Vocals, cast
Marc Breaux Vocals
Charles Wood Vocals, Track Performer, cast
Kiss Me Kate Pit Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Kiss Me Kate Cast Ensemble cast
Technical Credits
Robert Russell Bennett Orchestration
Didier C. Deutsch Reissue Producer
Fred Plaut Producer, Engineer
Cole Porter Lyricist
Irving Townsend Producer
Robert Waller Producer, Engineer
Darcy Proper Reissue Producer, Mastering
Pembroke Davenport Director, Vocal Arrangements, Musical Director
Miles Kreuger Liner Notes
Ken Fredette Artwork, Art Direction
Genevieve Pitot Arranger, Dance Arrangement
Roxanne Slimak Art Direction
Bella Spewack Book
Samuel Spewack Book
Harold C. Marchessault Engineer
Manie Sachs Producer, Original Album Producer
Robert "E.S.T." Waller Engineer
Sam Spewack Book
Darcy M. Proper Reissue Producer
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