Resistance and Reconciliation in a ‘Feminist Update’ to <i>Kiss Me, Kate</i>
Keywords:Broadway, musical theater, Taming of the Shrew, feminism, Cole Porter
Roundabout Theater’s 2019 production of Kiss Me, Kate is the most recent node in a long history of attempts to make sense of the gender violence of its source text, Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. While Cole Porter’s 1949 musical brings Katherina and Petruchio a few steps closer to the “gay couple” of Restoration comedy, trading whips for quips, this ‘feminist update’ highlights Kate’s physical force as resistance. Along with lyrical changes that make the tamed shrew advise not wives but a divided America, the production suggests a “woman’s place” is at the vanguard of political reconciliation.
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