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DORSET — The Dorset Players will be holding auditions for their spring musical, “Kiss Me Kate,” on Tuesday, Jan. 24 and Wednesday, Jan, 25 at 6:30 p.m. in the Dorset Playhouse rehearsal hall, at 104 Cheney Rd.

The show will run May 19-21 and May 26-28.

The show will be directed by Kevin O’Toole, with music direction by Michael Gallagher, and choreography by Linda Joy Sullivan. Prospective cast members may bring a music selection for the audition. Dancers should prepare a one-minute jazz and/or tap routine and bring tap, jazz or ballet shoes.

Written by Bella and Samuel Spewack, with music and lyrics by Cole Porter, “Kiss Me Kate” was first performed in 1948. It juxtaposes the battle of the sexes in William Shakespeare’s “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 and Fred Graham, a once bright acting tandem and real-life ex-spouses. The former coulple have reluctantly joined forces to appear together on-stage in Baltimore as the principals in a summer stock production of the Shakespearean comedy.

The plot also features young lovers, Lois Lane and Bill Calhoun, 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 Graham’s name to an IOU with a nefarious type whose henchman, of course, come calling to collect before the opening curtain.

Adding to the mayhem is Lilli Vanessi’s fiancé, General Harrison Howell, a military hero, and prospective political windbag, who arrives to sweep his sable-wearing betrothed off her feet and into a more respectable and conservative cloth coat.

The show remains chock-full of memorable tunes with delicious lyrics, such as “Another Op’nin’, Another Show”, “Too Darn Hot” and “Brush Up Your Shakespeare”, as well as several big dance numbers. Included in the cast are the four principals, as well as an additional thirteen cast members, many of whom are also featured in the play within a play.


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