BRUNSWICK – It’s been almost a quarter of a century since the Maine State Music Theatre has presented “Kiss Me, Kate,” one of the most successful musical comedies of all time. This backstage story about a divorced couple rehearsing the roles of Petruchio and Katherine in a musical version of “The Taming of the Shrew” has some of Cole Porter’s best music and lyrics. Sam and Bella Spewack’s hilarious book was updated for a 2001 Broadway production that won a Tony Award as Best Revival. So even though patrons may think they know this musical classic, many funny surprises are promised.

“Kiss Me, Kate” stars Tony Lawson (National Tour of “Les Misérables”) as Petruchio and Anne Kanengeiser (“Ragtime” on Broadway and “Victor/Victoria” at MSMT in 2000) as Katharine. Other principal roles are played by Bret Shuford as Lucentio, Samantha Fitschen as Bianca, and Ed Romanoff and Larry Raiken as the bumbling Gangsters.

The creative team includes MSMT Artistic Director Charles Abbott as director; Connie Shafer, choreographer; Charles S. Kading, set designer; and Gail Cooper Hecht, costume designer.

“Kiss Me Kate” will open Aug. 11 and run through Aug. 28 at the historic, air-conditioned Pickard Theater on the Bowdoin College campus. MSMT offers matinee and evening performances with prices ranging from $26 to $44. Student rush tickets at $10 are available for every performance. Check with the box office, (207) 725-8769, for details.

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