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‘Kiss Me, Kate’ Broadway Review: Will Chase, Kelli O’Hara Stay True To Cole Porter’s Fashion – In Their Way

‘Kiss Me, Kate’ Broadway Review: Will Chase, Kelli O’Hara Stay True To Cole Porter’s Fashion – In Their Way

Like last season’s Lincoln Center production of My Fair Lady, the Roundabout Theatre Company’s current Broadway revival of Kiss Me, Kate, directed by Scott Ellis and opening tonight at Studio 54, had its share of finessing to do, bringing an acknowledged work of stage musical genius from a less gender-enlightened era in line with modern sensibilities. We can put that concern aside – whatever occasional shortcomings befall this mostly terrific revival, a spanked, put-upon heroine isn’t one.

Kelli O’Hara and Will Chase are so evenly matched – in performance, talent and temperament – that it’s hard to imagine a more finely balanced battle de deux. Whatever spanking goes on in this musicalized update of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, well, each gives as good as she gets. And the roughhousing is so vaudeville cartoonish that the bum-bruising (his and hers) could trigger nothing more than a Carol Burnett Show flashback.

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