Arts and Entertainment

Aw, kiss me, you fool!

(L-R): Lauren Dietrich, Momoko Sugai and Callan Berry prep for “Another Op’nin, Another Show” in Cole Porter’s classic “Kiss Me Kate,” opening tonight at Bainbridge High School. - Brad Camp/Staff Photo
(L-R): Lauren Dietrich, Momoko Sugai and Callan Berry prep for “Another Op’nin, Another Show” in Cole Porter’s classic “Kiss Me Kate,” opening tonight at Bainbridge High School.
— image credit: Brad Camp/Staff Photo

Bainbridge High warms up ‘Cole’ feet with classic spring musical.

On the main, Tavis Hamilton said, rehearsals for “Kiss Me Kate” have been downright nice inside the Bainbridge High School LGI this spring. Nothing too intense or high-octane.

The musical itself, though, is another matter.

“It’s just such a thrilling show. It’s so upbeat, and there’s just a zest to it that really draws in the audience,” Hamilton said. “That’s what I enjoy about it. It’s so fiery. You just want to snap your fingers and get in there and do a swing dance.”

Hamilton, a Bainbridge High School junior and recent Ovation Musical Theatre regular, went backstage this spring to act as assistant director for this year’s spring production of Cole Porter’s 1948 musical. The show, directed by Barbara Hume, opens tonight.

Like its Elizabethan godparent, Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew,” the Tony Award-winning musical comedy centers around a pair of would-be – in this case, ex – lovers who mask their true feelings with snarky ‘40s-era snipes. The two work out their issues, as they say, against the backdrop of an awful Broadway-bound musical version of “Shrew.”

Before “Kiss Me Kate,” some critics thought Porter was done. Instead, musical theater companies – and high schools – everywhere have had the pleasure of reprising some of the composer’s most fun, croon-worthy numbers: “Too Darn Hot,” “So In Love,” “From This Moment On” and “Brush Up Your Shakespeare.”

At a recent rehearsal, with Hamilton busily running around while Hume fine-tuned a few of the large dance numbers onstage, the director perhaps unintentionally offered a reminder of why spring musicals in the Porter vein are so sweet. She checked each grouping, reviewing the actors’ stage business and making sure they all knew what they were doing in their “pods.”

It’s all about relationships, she reminded the actors.

“This is how shows are remembered.”

Snap it up

“Kiss Me Kate” runs at 7:30 p.m. April 24 and 25 and May 1, 2, 8 and 9 at the BHS LGI.

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