The Gender Politics of "Kiss Me, Kate"
A new production of Kiss Me, Kate is on Broadway now. It features Cole Porter’s memorable music and Kelli O’Hara and Will Chase as Lilli Vanessi and Fred Graham, a bickering divorced couple thrown together when they’re booked to star in a production of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. But 1948’s Kiss Me, Kate also duplicates the sexism of the Shakespeare play at its center. You aren’t alone if you’re wondering, “Does Kiss Me, Kate work in 2019?” We asked Will Chase and Amanda Green. Chase (TV’s Nashville and Broadway’s Something Rotten) stars in the production as Fred Graham, Kiss Me, Kate’s Petruchio figure. Amanda Green is the Tony-nominated lyricist and composer who wrote additional material for the production, a key decision-maker when it came to updating the musical’s book and lyrics. Chase and Green talk to Barbara Bogaev about wrestling with Kiss Me, Kate treatment of women and finding the love at the heart of its script.