‘Kiss Me Kate’ closes out Texas State Mainstage Theatre season

Lifestyle Reporter

The Texas State Mainstage Theatre season concluded with a performance of Kiss Me Kate.

Texas State’s Department of Theatre and Dance put on Cole Porter’s comedic musical April 21-26. The musical was directed and choreographed by Cassie Abate, assistant professor, and was performed at the Patti Strickel Harrison Theatre.

The musical follows the story of divorced couple, Fred and Lilli, who are actors in a production of William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. The two perform the lead roles, Katherine and Petruchio, which causes chaos and comedy within the production.   

David Lancaster, audience member, said the scenes from The Taming of the Shrew were entertaining and didn’t take focus away from the rest of the show.

“You don’t need to know (The Taming of the) Shrew,” Lancaster said. “I think it’d be good to know it because you’ll understand what they’re talking about and pick up on some of the inside jokes, but the show is still mainly Kiss Me Kate, and it’s hilarious.”

Gabriel Bernal, musical theater senior who played Fred, said the multiple storylines required him to brush up his Shakespeare in order to prepare for the show.

“It has Shakespeare in it,” Bernal said. “It’s comedic but also dramatic. It has everything that I had come to college to learn how to do all wrapped up in one show, but I definitely had to refresh my memory before I just rode the bull.”

Elizabeth Brady, musical theater junior who played Lilli, said the musical is humorous and relatable.

“It's so fast-paced and funny,” Brady said. “It'll be easy for the audience to get into the show because they'll be able to relate. Everyone has love problems and drama in their lives, but it's done in a comedic way, and the music is incredible.”

Sydney Roberts, musical theater senior, who played the role of Lois, another young actress Fred pursues in the play, said Kiss Me Kate resembles a Broadway performance because of the musical style.

"It's a very historical part of musical theater,” Roberts said. “I always had a soft spot for this era of musical theater. Being able to play a principal in a Cole Porter musical that has been very iconic has just been incredible.”

Bernal said concluding his time at Texas State with Kiss Me Kate was like a dream come true.

"It wasn't one of those screaming ‘Oh my gosh’ moments,” Bernal said. “It was just an exhale because I wanted it so bad. I love performing, and I love making people smile and feel something. That’s the goal.”

Brady said the show was energetic and felt like a professional performance.

"It's more of getting into (Lilli’s) energy because she has such a female presence, so I have to get myself riled up to find her energy and be able to settle in to that for the entire show,” Brady said.

The actors demonstrated how well they work together through their energy, Lancaster said.

“It’s always really interesting to see a cast play off of each other’s energies while performing,” Lancaster said. “I think that’s something you really need, especially in a comedy musical like this one.”