posted June 3, 2008

Genius Musical "Kiss Me, Kate" Launches HSRT Season

The Hope Summer Repertory Theatre begins its 37th season with the musical "Kiss Me, Kate" opening June 20th at 8 p.m. at Hope College's DeWitt Theatre.

"Kiss Me, Kate" brilliantly mixes the music of Cole Porter with Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shew" to make one fierce 'Battle of the Sexes.'  Chaos ensues when two former lovers play opposite each other on stage while their current lovers also take part in the production.  Mix in a few gangsters, a heafty I.O.U., and some unexpected romance, and this musical is sure to have you on the edge of your seats.

Equity Guest Artist Michael Halling, who has been featured on Broadway, will play Fred Graham/Petruchio, and Lauretta Pope, who recently received her MFA from the University of Connecticut, will play opposite of Fred as Lilli Vanessi/Kate.  Robert Thompson Jr., who will be attending the graduate program at University of Connecticut, will play Bill Calhoun/Lucentio. Also staring in the production is Jessica DiSalvo, a returning HSRT actress who was seen in "Godspell," "The Hypochondriac" and "She Loves Me'" during last year's season, and will play Lois Lane/Bianca.  She also is a graduate of Southern Methodist University.

Also joining the cast is Jonathan Spivey, an HSRT favorite, as one of the gangsters.  He has been seen in many hit HSRT productions such as "Oliver," "The Hypochondriac," and the cast of "Godspell."       

David Colacci, returning for his 23rd season and 17th as artistic director, is directing the performance.  He is assisted by Meribeth Kisner who has choreographed for musical theatre since 1980 and has been choreographing and directing at Hope Summer Repertory Theatre since 1983. 

Fred Tessler directs the classic songs such as "Wunderbar," "So in Love," and "Brush up Your Shakespeare" and riveting dance numbers like "Too Darn Hot" and "Tom, Dick, or Harry."  

The show continues throughout the summer with performances at 8 p.m. on June 14, 19, 25, 27, July 2, 8, 10, 15, 17, 23, 28, and August 1, 9. 

Tickets have already gone on sale at both the DeVos Fieldhouse and the DeWitt Theatre Ticket Office.  Prices range from $8-$26 for plays and season tickets range from $45-$85.

The ticket office is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Beginning June 14 the ticket office is open on Saturday's at noon. On performance dates, the DeWitt Ticket Office will be open through intermission.  The ticket office is located in the DeWitt Cultural Center at 12th Street and Columbia Avenue. For tickets call the ticket office at 616-395-7890.

For more information visit the HSRT website at www.hope.edu/hsrt

The DeWitt Theatre is located at 141 East 12th Street.  While 12th Street is under construction, the DeWitt and Martha Miller parking lots are both accessible from the North.

And while at the ticket office, make sure to check out HSRT's other productions

such as "Forever Plaid" opening June 20, the cabaret at Til Midnight, "Closer Than Ever" opening July 5, "The Foreigner" opening July 11, and "Doubt, A Parable" opening July 18. The Children's Performance Troupe will also be presenting "Sarah Plain and Tall" opening July 18 and "Petite Rouge, the Cajun Red Riding Hood" opening July 16.