Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter - Book by Bella and Samuel Spewack
Ford’s Theatre (Interior), Baltimore Another Op'nin' Another Show
The cast of the Baltimore theatre has its final rehearsals before the
opening of a musical version of Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew".
A play-within-a-play unfolds, where each of the four main cast member's
on-stage performance is complicated by what is happening in his or her
Fred takes the roles of director and male lead, Petruchio. His ex-wife
Lilli, now a movie star with a reputation for being difficult to work
with, plays Katharine, the shrew. Fred's current love interest, Lois,
plays the role of Bianca, and the other man in Lois' life, Bill, plays
the role of Lucentio.
Before the curtain rises on "The Shrew" we find out that Bill has a
gambling problem. He tells Lois that he signed a $10,000 IOU for a debt
in Fred's name, instead of using his own name. Not long after Lois begs
Bill to stop gambling, two thugs show up at the theatre to make it clear
that Bill will have to make good on that IOU. But they confront Fred
instead of Bill, since Fred's name is on the gambling debt. Lois asks
Bill Why Can't You Behave?
Dressing Rooms of Lilli and Fred Fred and Lilli reminisce together, and
their warm feelings for each other return – Wunderbar.
When flowers sent by Fred to Lois mistakenly get delivered to Lilli,
Lilli falls even more deeply in love with Fred – So in Love.
Taming of the Shrew Show Curtain We are brought into Shakespeare's world
with We Open in Venice.
On stage – Padua We discover that Lucentio (Bill) may not marry his love
Bianca (Lois), until Bianca's older sister Katharine (Lilli) the shrew
is married off. Bianca enjoys flirting with her gentlemen callers in
Tom, Dick or Harry. Fortunately for Bianca and Lucentio, Petruchio
(Fred) comes to town looking for a wealthy wife and is not scared off by
Katharine. Petruchio explains his goal in I've Come to Wive It Wealthily
in Padua and Katharine makes her feelings clear in
I Hate Men. Lilli finally discovers that the flowers Fred sent her were
actually intended for Lois, and we hear her shriek in outrage from
offstage. In Were Thine That Special Face Petruchio sings of his strong
feelings for Katharine. Fred and Lilli’s offstage feelings and
frustrations are acted out within their on-stage characters and Fred
teaches Lilli a lesson [the spanking].
Dressing Rooms of Lilli and Fred Lilli threatens to walk out of the
show, and calls her new man. Fred convinces the two gangsters that he
will be able to pay them the money he allegedly owes them, if they can
make sure Lilli continues to play her role. The gangsters put on
costumes and become part of the cast of "The Shrew" to keep Lilli on
On stage - Padua The people of Padua are celebrating the grape harvest –
Cantiamo D’Amore. Lilli uses her anger toward Fred to express herself as
Katharine for the rest of the show while Fred enjoys being tough as
Petruchio – Kiss Me, Kate.
[The Baltimore cast is trying to behave as if all is well while Lilli
and Fred play this all out on stage, but leave the stage in disarray at
the end of the scene.]
Ford’s Theatre (Exterior), Baltimore The second act opens with the
cast relaxing outside the theatre – Too Darn Hot.
Taming of the Shrew Show Curtain Fred makes an announcement.
On stage – Padua Petruchio marries Katharine, treats her badly but
begins to regret his relatively peaceful single life in Where Is the
Life That Late I Led?
The Backstage Corridor Lilli’s new love, the General, has arrived to
rescue her. He passes Lois and it is clear that they ‘know’ each other.
Lois tells Bill she is Always True to You (In My Fashion).
Dressing Rooms of Lilli and Fred Lilli believes life will be better with
the General and the two sing of their love for each other – From this
Moment On. However, there is the first indication that perhaps it is the
General who the hard man, and that he may in fact be less understanding
The Backstage Corridor Bill sings of his love for Lois – Bianca.
When the gangsters call their boss to 'check in', they find out that the
boss has been killed. This makes Bill's IOU worthless, so the gangsters
can leave. Lilli takes the opportunity to walk off the show and leaves
with the General, as Fred reprises So in Love.
Taming of the Shrew Show Curtain The gangsters get caught up in the
limelight and pay an unusual tribute to Shakespeare in Brush Up Your
On stage – Padua Bianca and Lucentio are finally married although
Katharine is missing from the stage. As "The Taming of the Shrew" comes
to a close, Lilli unexpectedly returns to the stage and continues in the
role of Katharine. In this guise she expresses her intention of
returning to Fred - I Am Ashamed That Women Are So Simple. As Fred and
Lilli, through their characters, express their love for each other the
company reprises Kiss Me, Kate