The Ottumwa Courier

November 9, 2012

‘Kiss Me Kate’ takes on Shakespeare, real life


Ottumwa Courier

BLOOMFIELD — The Davis County Players’ fall musical “Kiss Me Kate” is under way.

The show will be presented at 7:30 p.m. tonight and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Iowa Theatre on the east side of the city square in Bloomfield

The musical combines Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew” with music and lyrics by the great composer, Cole Porter, to create what some critics refer to as an “instant success with every cast and audience.”

The production is a play-within-a-play where each cast member’s on-stage life is complicated, and paralleled, by what is happening offstage. Fred Graham (played by Wayne Van Mersbergen) is the director and also plays the lead character, Petrucchio, in “Shrew.” His ex-wife, Lilli (Dr. Kirstina Gratz), a movie star with a reputation for being difficult, plays Katherine, the shrew. Fred’s current love interest, Lois (Michelle Williams), plays Bianca, and the other man in her life, Bill (Richie Wortmann), plays the role of Lucentio.

To further complicate the intertwining of the cast members’ personal and stage lives as well as provide comic relief, two gangsters, played by Russ Mikels and James Grob, arrive on the scene and even manage to finagle their way into the cast of “Shrew.”

Other cast members in the Players’ production of “Kiss Me, Kate” are Danny Van Horn, Justin Snyder, John Pisarik, Gail Wortmann, Ryan Snyder, Chris Griffin, Joe Davis, Joy Orwig, Terri Williams, Lindsey Wortmann, Josie Drummond, Aleta Mikels, Sarah Deaton, Jessica Snyder, Brian Stevenson, Dan Augspurger, Victoria Vannoni and Mikaela Richards.

Joanna McCoy is director and Lyle Stirling is musical director of the production. Choreography is by Gail Wortmann, Michelle Williams and Jill Nelson. Costuming is under the direction of Gail Van Mersbergen.

Reserved seat tickets are available at the Bloomfield Democrat office at 207 S. Madison St.