Film & TV NewsHow to Watch Original Broadway Stars Alfred Drake and Patricia Morison in Kiss, Me KateDrake, Morison, Julie Wilson, and more were featured in a televised version of the musical in 1958.
March 10, 2020
The 1953 MGM film of the Broadway musical Kiss Me, Kate cast Howard Keel and Kathryn Grayson in the roles that had been created on Broadway five years earlier by Alfred Drake and Patricia Morison. Drake and Morison, however, did get to preserve some of their work in a 78-minute version of the musical that was originally captured for a Hallmark Hall of Fame TV broadcast on November 20, 1958.
Tony Award winner George Schaefer (The Royal Family) produced and directed the television production, which had musical direction by two-time Tony winner Franz Allers (My Fair Lady, Camelot). That recording is currently available for streaming on Amazon Prime.
In addition to Drake as Fred/Petruchio and Morison as Lilli/Katharine, the TV musical features Tony winner Julie Wilson as Lois/Bianca and Lorenzo Fuller as Paul. Fuller originated the role on Broadway, while Wilson appeared in the West End production and briefly in the Broadway company.
The cast also includes Bill Hayes as Bill Calhoun, Harvey Lembeck as First Gunman, Jack Klugman as Second Gunman, Paul McGrath as Harrison Howell, Robinson Stone as Harry Trevor/Baptista, Lee Cass as Gremio, Jerry Duane as Hortensio, Eva Jessye as Hattie, and Lee Richardson as Ralph.
Kiss Me, Kate has a book by Sam and Bella Spewack and a score by Cole Porter. The original production opened on Broadway December 30, 1948, and ran for 1,077 performances. It earned five Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Author and Best Composer and Lyricist.
The most recent Broadway revival, in 2019, co-starred Tony winner Kelli O'Hara and Tony nominee Will Chase.