LocationAlhambra , CA United States
By Jay Parker
Alhambra residents are in for a real treat this April 6, 7, 13, 14 at 7pm, as well as April 8 at 11:30 am, when the Alhambra High School Thespians present the hit musical comedy, Kiss Me Kate. This is a hilarious love story that takes place behind the scenes of a theater touring company’s production of William Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew.
Kiss Me Kate was an instant Broadway hit when it debuted on Broadway in 1948. Audiences loved the witty barbs that fill the book, written by Samuel and Bella Spewack, and the brilliant music by Porter. Musical favorites like “Too Darn Hot”, “So in Love” and “Wunderbar,” made this production Cole Porter’s biggest Broadway hit.
Kiss Me Kate! tells the story of an egotistical theater leading man named Fred played by Henry Caceres, who is reunited with his ex-wife, Lilli played by Lorena Coronel. The two are set to play opposite one another in a production of the Taming of the Shrew. A hilarious and rowdy battle of the sexes happens onstage and off, amid mistaken identities involving gangsters played by Alex D’Costa and Jordon Ria, as well as additional love interests played by Thomas Keenen and Aryana Tapia. Kiss Me Kate has earned its prestige as the first play to win a Tony award for Best Musical.
Director Rachel Snow-Fornara has gathered over 40 young actors to play a cast of characters that are as bright and colorful as a musical demands. Professionals such as vocal director Jared Pugh, choreographer Tess Johnson and orchestra leader Mark Trulson, as well as a stage and technical crew who run lighting and sound and scene changes, help bring this stunning production to the stage.
“This musical is important to me, because it is my last show in high school,” says Asha Lew, who plays Fred’s assistant Paula. I’ve been involved since freshman year and this marks the end of my high school journey with the Thespians. I’m so proud to see our club work so hard to make this the best show yet.”
The Alhambra High Thespians are coming from a wonderful winter production of Noel Coward’s Blythe Spirit and last year’s hit production of Little Shop of Horrors. Snow-Fornara’s hope is to follow each production with a show of larger scale, and Kate is just that.
“This is a big ol’ show! Everybody loves a big ol’ show and this is a big ol’ show!” Snow-Fornara says. “It has a large cast that began rehearsing since early January. In all, there is about 100 young people working on this production.”
With eye popping sets and brilliant costuming, plus the royalty cost of the play itself, the budget for a show like this can be hefty, and with no funding coming from the school’s budget, the group relies on ticket and t-shirt sales as well as ad-space sponsorship and various fundraising efforts.
What: Alhambra High Thespians Present Kiss Me Kate!
When: Thursday and Friday, April 6th and 7th and Thursday and Friday, April 13 and 14th at 7pm. Matinee on Saturday, April 8th at 11:30 am.
Where: Alhambra High School Auditorium, 101 S. 2nd St, Alhambra, CA 91801
Ticket prices: Pre-sale tickets: Students $8, Adults $10 At the door: Students $10, Adults $12. VIP SEATING: $15 Presale, $18 at the door.
For donation and pre-sale ticket inquires visit www.alhambratheaspians.com.