Cole Porter's masterwork Kiss Me, Kate was revived in a splashy production that played on Broadway in 1999 then in London, where this version was filmed in front of a live audience in 2002. Broadway veterans Brent Barrett and Rachel York play pompous Fred Graham and feisty Lilli Vanessi, respectively, the couple whose roles in Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew mirror their offstage feud. The play-within-a-play format is reflected in a score that has both contemporary '50s songs ("Too Darn Hot") and Bard-inspired stage songs ("I've Come to Wive It Wealthily in Padua"). Other songs such as "Wunderbar," "So in Love," "Why Can't You Behave?," "Always True to You (In My Fashion)," and "Brush Up Your Shakespeare" are among Porter's best-loved melodies and wittiest lyrics. Nancy Anderson and Michael Berresse (the lone principal still remaining from the original Broadway cast) sing and dance up a storm as the secondary couple Lois and Bill, and Teddy Kempner and Jack Chissick steal scenes as the gangsters. Recommended for fans of musicals, though it's not the most family-friendly choice due to gender conflicts and stereotyping. --David Horiuchi
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