program notes by composition > K > Kiss Me Kate

Kiss Me Kate

Cole Porter/arr. John Moss

Kiss Me Kate is a medley of six selections from the 1949 Tony-award winning musical by Cole Porter: “Another Op’nin’, Another Show,” Why Can’t You Behave,” “Brush Up Your Shakespeare,” “Too Darn Hot” and “So In Love.”

The musical is a play within a play, as modern characters produce a version of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew . Conflict occurs on and off-stage between the show's director, producer, the star and the leading lady who is his ex-wife. A secondary romance concerns the actress playing Bianca, and her gambler boyfriend who runs afoul of some gangsters.

Cole Porter (1891–1964) was a top composer for Broadway and Hollywood, creating countless memorable scores. He lived life and wrote music with style, energy and hearty appreciation for the subtle, the grandiose, the lively and the silly. Witty and sophisticated, he enjoyed the avant garde “high society” life of the well-to-do.