The Dorset Playhouse 

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DORSET — The Dorset Players conclude their latest season of quality community theatre with “Kiss Me, Kate,” the classic musical with book by Samuel and Bella Spewack, and music and lyrics by Cole Porter.

Performances will be at the Dorset Playhouse on Cheney Road in Dorset, at 7:30 p.m. on May 19, 20, 26 and 27, and on May 21 and 28 at 2 p.m. Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling the Dorset Players’ Box Office at 802-867-5777.

Directed by Kevin O’Toole, with music director Michael Gallagher, and choreographer Linda Joy Sullivan, “Kiss Me, Kate” is chock-full of memorable tunes with delicious lyrics, such as “Another Op’nin,’ Another Show,” “Too Darn Hot,” and “Brush Up Your Shakespeare.”

First produced in 1948, “Kiss Me, Kate” juxtaposes the battle of the sexes in “The Taming of the Shrew” between Katharine, the shrewish eldest daughter of a wealthy merchant, and Petruchio, her determined, fortune-seeking suitor, with Lilli Vanessi (Danielle Houston) and Fred Graham (Todd Houston), a once bright acting tandem and real-life ex-spouses, who have reluctantly joined forces to appear together on-stage as the principals in a summer stock production of the Shakespearean comedy.

The plot also features young lovers, Lois Lane (Tina Forés-Hitt) and Bill Calhoun (Colin Hill), who, in the play within a play, portray Katharine’s beautiful, even-tempered sister, Bianca, and Lucentio, one of Bianca’s several ardent admirers.

To save his skin, Bill, an irresponsible gambler, has falsely signed Fred Graham’s name to an I.O.U. with a nefarious type whose henchmen (Tom Ferguson & P.J. Tumielewicz), of course, come calling to collect before the opening curtain.

Adding to the mayhem is Vanessi’s fiancé, General Harrison Howell (David McAneny), a military hero and prospective political windbag, who arrives to sweep his Dior-wearing betrothed off her feet and into a more respectable and conservative cloth coat. It’s all pretty silly, and great fun.

The show is sponsored by RE/MAX Four Seasons and Kevin M. O’Toole, Esq., as well as Dorset Physio, Linda Joy’s Tap Joint, Naylor & Breen, Spivey Lemonik Swenor PC, The Wilburton Inn, and Karl Brosch in memory of Ralph Thomas.


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