BY PATRICIA MORISON
A lot of the battles Alfred and I had on the set we worked out. There was a scene where there was a table between us and I had to lean against that table so hard that I eventually got bruises on my thighs. In another scene I have to slap his face. Well, I always learned to slap him on the side of the neck with a cupped hand, but one night I missed and I hit him right on the button and down he went. In another scene, my hair is down and Petruchio says, “How, now, Kate?” slaps me on my back and my hair falls over my face. So I push it back and he does it again. The next time he does it, I leave it there, so he separates it and i stick my tongue out at him and he pushes me into the bedroom. On matinee day, we could hear the ladies in the audience saying, “That’s not her real hair; that’s a wig.” So Alfred started yanking on my hair just to show them it was really mine.
When we had to cut a song, Cole didn’t hesitate. There was a wonderful song in the first act called “We Shall Never Be Younger.” I remember the day they cut it. I think it was kind of silly to cut it because it’s such a beautiful song. “We shall never be younger than we are today.” It’s a lovely, lovely song and I’m glad it was later included in the songbook.
Sam and Bella Spewack were wonderful, interesting people. Sam wasn’t involved much at the beginning, but when they were working on “Brush Up Your Shakespeare,” that’s when Sam got into it and eventually got co-billing as a writer with Bella. Bella was a very fiery, colorful lady. She was very directly honest. I remember when someone in the male chorus told her how much he admired her, and she said, “Oh, stop being so servile!”
In our final segment in the series, Patricia talks about the reaction on Opening Night, December 1948.
Cabrillo Music Theatre’s “Kiss Me, Kate” concludes its run this weekend. For show dates and times, see the VC On Stage Calendar of Events.