‘Kiss Me, Kate’ Will Head Back to Broadway With Kelli O’Hara

‘Kiss Me, Kate’ Will Head Back to Broadway With Kelli O’Hara


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Kelli O’Hara at the 2014 Tony Awards. She will play the leading role in a revival of “Kiss Me, Kate.”

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Andrew Kelly/Reuters

Brush up on your Shakespeare: Kelli O’Hara is coming back to Broadway to star in a Roundabout Theater Company revival of “Kiss Me, Kate.”

The production will be directed by Scott Ellis (“She Loves Me”) and will begin performances in February 2019, Roundabout said Monday. The nonprofit did not announce a theater or other members of the cast.

The musical, featuring songs by Cole Porter, tells the story of two once-married actors who fight, flirt, and fend off gangsters as they prepare to stage a musical adaptation of “The Taming of the Shrew.” Ms. O’Hara will play the leading role of Lilli Vanessi/Katharine.

With a book by Bella and Sam Spewack, the show originally opened on Broadway in 1948 (and won five Tony Awards, including for best new musical); a revival, with uncredited revisions by the playwright John Guare, opened in 1999, won the 2000 Tony Award for best musical revival, announced a closing in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and then managed to run a bit longer after a voluntary cast pay cut.

Ms. O’Hara is one of Broadway’s most loved contemporary performers, and has led well-received Lincoln Center Theater revivals of “South Pacific” and “The King and I.” She won a Tony Award in 2015, for “The King and I,” and had previously been nominated five other times, including for a 2006 Roundabout revival of “The Pajama Game.”

Last year, Ms. O’Hara performed in a staged reading of “Kiss Me, Kate,” also directed by Mr. Ellis, to benefit Roundabout. In that production, the male lead was played by Will Chase.

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