Prime Porter

Cole Porter's "Kiss Me, Kate" took 51 years to get its first Broadway revival, and it's almost been worth the wait. Based on both Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew" and the real-life bickering of theater legends Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, "Kate" is the wonderfully wacky tale of a divorced husband-and-wife acting team who despise performing together--until they realize they're in love after all. Brian Stokes Mitchell and Marin Mazzie don't always seem to be in the same show: he underplays, she's a major ham. But their singing is the best on Broadway, and they're hilarious when they don't have to share the stage. Director Michael Blakemore is famous for his farces, and with "Kate"--which includes four love stories, two verse-happy mobsters and one general, all on a three-tiered set--he contains the madness while letting it breathe. But the big star is choreographer Kathleen Marshall. From the perky ditty "Tom, Dick or Harry," where three guys dance their feet off to win the girl, to a downright erotic wine-making scene, Marshall's inspired footwork smooths the production's few rough spots. "Kate" has always succeeded equally well as musical and comedy. With dancing like this, it should have great legs.

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