Amelia Musical Playhouse
Submitted by Jill Dillingham
June 29, 2021
Every now and then, the world is inhabited by those with rare musical genius, whose creations live on to be enjoyed for generations. A few names easily come to mind: Beethoven. The Beatles. Sinatra. Cole Porter.
Huh? Cole Porter??
Well, why not? Porter (1891-1964) wrote the music and lyrics for a long list of unforgettable tunes, among them “Night and Day”, “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”, “I Get a Kick Out of You”, and “I Love Paris”. Known for beautiful, distinctive melodies, sophisticated lyrics and often subtle humor, Porter’s songs remain fresh today, some 80 to 90 years after being written.
Cole Porter was a classically trained musician but was drawn to musical theater and rose to prominence in the 1920’s and 30s. He authored many Broadway musicals, including the well-loved hits “Anything Goes”, “Can Can”, and the show which won the first Tony Award for “Best Musical” in 1949, “Kiss Me Kate”.
Originally opening on Broadway in 1948, with revivals in 1999 and 2019, Kiss Me Kate remains timely and entertaining today. “Kate” tells the tale of two once-married, now-divorced musical theater actors, egotistical leading man Fred Graham and Lilli Vanessi, who are forced to perform opposite each other in a Broadway-bound musical version of William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, in the roles of Petruchio and Katharine.
As the battle of the sexes continues onstage and off, it becomes clear that as much as this couple profess to hate each other, they are also still in love. Throw cases of mistaken identity, wannabe gangster thespians, and additional romantic entanglements into the mix and – in classic musical comedy fashion – madness ensues.
Amelia Musical Playhouse’s production is directed by Jeff Packer, with musical direction by Mary Williams, choreography by Nick Cooper and costumes by Donna Lewis. Cast members include Jimmy Galaviz as Fred Graham, Haley Vonnoh as Lilli Vanessi, Kathryn Aubrey as Lois Lane, and Nick Cooper as Bill Calhoun. Jimmy Kallista and Bob O’Hara play the Gangsters.
Performances are July 15-17 and July 22-24 at 7:30pm, July 18 & 25 at 5:00 pm. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for students, and may be purchased online through 904tix, or at the playhouse box office at 904-277-3455. Amelia Musical playhouse, 1955 Island Walkway, Fernandina Beach.