If I am being honest, I listen to a lot of cast recordings during the day. Some are a reminder of how much I enjoyed a show I have previously seen on Broadway and others are those that I simply enjoy listening to because of the music and the vocals. The 2019 Broadway Cast Recording of Kiss Me, Kate is one of those recordings that I just enjoy listening to because of the quality of the performances on the album. What I love most is the energy that comes through from every single person on the recording and it makes the listener feel as if they are right there in the action. There are excellent performances by Kelli O’Hara, Will Chase, Corbin Bleu and Stephanie Styles and in this recording the ensemble also shines to make this an energetic and memorable cast recording produced by Ghostlight Records.
The 2019 production of Kiss Me, Kate opened on Broadway in March 2019. In case you are not familiar with the story of Kiss Me, Kate, the show is a show within a show. The musical tells the story of a production of William Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, set in the summer of 1946 in Baltimore, and it depicts the back stage relationships and drama that occur between the actors on and off stage. The 2019 production is directed by Scott Ellis, choreographed by Warren Carlyle, with music direction by Paul Gemignani. Kiss Me, Kate features a book by Sam and Bella Spewack, with music and lyrics by Cole Porter. In addition, Amanda Green did a few updates to the show to make it more accessible to audiences in 2019. The show is a beloved musical and people are familiar with many songs from the show such as “Too Darn Hot,” “Brush Up Your Shakespeare” and “Another Op’nin, Another Show.”
One of my favorite numbers on the cast recording is “Another Op’nin, Another Show.” The entire cast is featured in this opening song and it is fantastic. The song radiates with energy from the very first note. Another highlight of the album is Kelli O’Hara’s rendition of “I Hate Men.” Her vocals are fierce in this song. In addition, Will Chase gives a solid performance in the song “Where is the Life I Led.” One of my favorite songs from the musical is “Brush Up Your Shakespeare.” On this recording it is performed by John Pankow and Lance Coadie Williams. It is a hilarious song and Pankow and Williams are excellent in this number. Honestly, I enjoyed this entire cast recording from the first song until the final number. The thing I enjoyed most is the energy that comes through from every single song. That is especially true of the opening number of act one and the song “It’s Too Darn Hot” performed by James T. Lane, Corbin Bleu, Adrienne Walker, and the Kiss Me, Kate 2019 Broadway Ensemble. This song is sizzling on the recording. The cast performed this number on the Tony Awards this year and the choreography was incredible. Listening to this song it is as if the listener can feel the passion come through in the number. I need to give a shout out to the ensemble of this cast because they also help make this cast recording shine. The ensemble includes: Darius Barnes, Preston Truman Boyd, Will Burton, Derrick Cobey, Jesmille Darbouze, Rick Faugno, Haley Fish, Tanya Haglund, Erica Mansfield, Marissa McGowan, Sarah Meahl, Justin Prescott, Christine Cornish Smith, Sherisse Springer, Sam Strasfeld, and Travis Waldschmidt. The 2019 cast recording of Kiss Me, Kate is my favorite cast recording so far this year. There is an exuberance that comes across in every number on this recording.
The 2019 Cast Recording of Kiss Me, Kate is available for purchase through Ghostlight Records. For more information and to purchase this recording please visit www.ghostlightrecords.com/kiss-me-kate-2019-broadway-cast-recording.html.
Kelli Curtin is founding editor and writer for theatresensation.com. She has maintained a love of the performing arts since a very early age and she is excited to share her passion about theatre and the Arts with her readers. Kelli can be found on Twitter, Facebook and on Instagram