By Martie Thompson

“Kiss Me Kate” is basically Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew,” adapted for the stage by Jeremy Sams and featuring music and lyrics by Cole Porter … and audiences at Alhambra Theatre and Dining are in for a double treat with this rollicking battle of the sexes. The music and lyrics are integrated into the script (Porter’s response to Rodgers & Hammerstein’s shows) and the play became Porter’s biggest hit with more than 1,000 performances on Broadway. It won the first-ever Tony Award presented for Best Musical in 1949.

The story is actually a play-within-a-play about actors touring with the stage version of “The Taming of the Shrew.” The characters switch back and forth between their names and their Shakespearean counterparts. The lead roles are portrayed impressively by Christopher Sanders and Traci Bair, as divorced couple Fred Graham and Lilli Vanessi who star as “Petruchio” and “Katharine.” Despite their failed personal relationship, they find themselves drawn to each other. Add in Fred’s dalliance with ingenue Lois Lane/“Bianca,” portrayed by Lauren Robinson, and her gambler boyfriend, Bill Calhoun/“Lucentio,” played by Matthew Alexander, as well as two mafia hit men who come to collect Bill’s gambling debt from an unsuspecting Fred (Bill signed Fred’s name on an IOU) and what ensues is a comedic case of misunderstandings. Backstage antics of the cast spill over into the on-stage performance of “The Taming of the Shrew,” with hilarious asides by the actors during their ad libbing.

Julington Creek Family Dentistry. Implant Cosmetic and Restoration Dentistry. We are following Advanced Safety protocols set forth by CDC, OSHA and ADA guidelines for dental practices

Porter’s music provides a showcase for powerhouse vocals by Sanders, Bair and Robinson. Probably one of the most well known numbers, “Wunderbar,” is beautifully performed by Sanders and Bair as their Fred and Lilli personas. Bair as Lilli shows her vocal range and comedic delivery with “I Hate Men” and Sanders as Petruchio brings the house down with “Where is the Life that Late I Led?” Robinson as Bianca leads a suggestive rendition of “Tom, Dick or Harry” with suitors Gremio, Hortensio and Lucentio that will have adult audience members chuckling.

The clever lyrics in “Brush Up Your Shakespeare,” performed by the two gangsters (Joshua McKinney and Joey Swift) are sure to bring laughs and finally a sigh of disappointment when the two are finally, literally, dragged off the stage.

The ensemble numbers are also highlights. “Another Op’nin, Another Show” at the start of the first act and “Too Darn Hot” at the beginning of the second act allow the company to strut their stuff to James Kinney’s pulsating choreography.

Executive Chef DeJuan Roy has imagined another themed menu to accompany this show. Diners have their choice of chilled cucumber bisque or Caprese salad to start, followed by entree choices of southern style pepper steak, BBQ chicken, scallops carbonara or vegetable kabob with tofu. Save room for refreshing raspberry sorbet with a Meyer lemon cookie or Key Lime pie for dessert.

“Kiss Me Kate” will be on stage at Alhambra Theatre and Dining through Sept. 9. Visit to buy tickets.


Photo courtesy Alhambra Theatre and Dining

The cast of “Kiss Me Kate.”


  • Ackerman Urology We specialize in Prostate health, sexual health, bladder health, and Kidney health
  • Smiles by Glenos & Hadfic Orthodontists
  • I.T. Promise Inc. Computer Services Professional Computer Services business and residential
  • Pavers concrete and more Free estimates
  • Snip's Tree and stump service over 25 years experience
  • The right cleaners, LLC House cleaning services
  • Premier Homes Realty Inc. Michael Taylor and Tari Taylor
  • Quality Eye care 25+ years of experience
  • Vote Rod Hardwick for st johns county sheriff Working together for the strength of our community during challenging times
  • Preddy law firm estate planning, wills, trusts, probate, guardianship
  • Starling Nocatee, 360 degree virtual tour
  • Advertise in our May Issue The Creek Line
  • Staverman Hearing Centers Hear loud and clear
  • Support Community Journalism The Creek Line
  • Tutoring club of st johns. Text tutoring to 484848 for a chance to win one month of free tutoring
  • Being Well Florida News line is excited to introduce Being Well magazine
  • Westminster Woods on Julington creek. Live well. Be Happy
  • Ackerman cancer center. We're here for your cancer treatment
  • Anytime Fitness! Summer is Here! We Are Open!
  • Have questions about your medicare benefits? Call a SHINE volunteer.
  • Forever Vets Animal Hospital coupon for free exam and discount on preventative care for dogs and cats!
  • Ellegant earth solutions complete lawn maintenance with 28 years experience, complete lawn maintenance
  • Prudential Financial Planning Services with Andrew Laino
  • Support Community Journalism in Ponta Vedra NewsLine
  • Vote for Dr. Erick Aguilar Republican candidate U.S. House Fl 4th district
  • Academy of Dance Open House & Registration August 19th and 20th 3pm to 6pm Classes start August 24th! Ballet, Pointem Jazz, Hip Hop Contemporary, Modern, Lyrical, Music Theatre, Vocal
  • Affordable Water
  • All About Ballroom
  • Do you only want cremation?
  • Craig Funeral services, Funeral, Crematory, Memorial Park
  • Cronin Ace Hardware
  • Vote for Christian Whitehurst! for St. Johns county commissioner, District 1
  • Doug Nunnery, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices,
  • Finding the right doctor just got easier, Dr. Levine Baptist primary care
  • DIscount up to 30% Jim Register state farm agent
  • Nemetz Dental Associates! Your new smile awaits!
  • Deerwood Academy register now for 2020-2021 VPK
  • Eye center of st augustine, The eye surgery Center of St Augustine
  • Famous Automotive and tire center
  • Fruit Cove Baptist Church
  • The Goddard School summer camp
  • Havana Printing and office supply Call us today for all your cutome printing needs
  • Ian MacDonald Mortgage loan originator with Regions Mortgage
  • Julington Creek Chiropractic & Wellness Center P.A. serving st. johns county for nearly 21 years
  • Future home loans. North Florida's Premier Mortgage Expert Ryan Proffitt
  • Let them know you are open for business! Advertise in our May Issue! Ponta Vedra NewsLine
  • Wild Birds Unlimited Nature shop. Have you watered your birds lately?
  • Legends of Real Estate call Kim Kessler
  • Creeks Air Conditioning & Heating. We service all makes and models for residential and commerical!
  • Crosswinds Veterinary Hospital. Preventative Medicine and wellness, Surgery, Dentistry, Labs and Imaging, Farm Animal Medicine, In-Patient and Emergency Care
  • Florida Waterways Inc. Your trusted Waterway Advisers
  • Harbor Chase Independent & Assisted living Memory Care Mandarin. Immerse yourself in a rewarding community that enriches your body, mind, and soul.
  • JJs Bistro $10 off lunch or dinner
  • Dont Forget to vote for John Turner School Board member
  • Julington Creek Family Dentistry. Implant Cosmetic and Restoration Dentistry. We are following Advanced Safety protocols set forth by CDC, OSHA and ADA guidelines for dental practices
  • Lori Hershey for School Board, District 7. A school system we can all believe in.
  • Alicia Washington for Circuit Judge
  • Matt Schellenberg. Dependable Leadership for these challenging Times. School Board District 7
  • Re-elect Mike Orfinger for circuit judge
  • Concrete Works! Free Estimates, driveways, Patios, Walkways, Concrete removal, Driveway extension, Pavers
  • Family Remodeling Contractors! Bath, Kitchen &ADA Remodeling
  • Mobile Notary Service. 15 years experience, 24 hour services
  • River Garden Senior Services, However and whenever you need us we're here
  • Starlight Gymnastics! Our #1 priority is your children!
  • Chris Strickland for ST Johns county sheriff!
  • Sugar Bear Antique Mall Summer spectacular sale July 10th-12th
  • Baptist Health, Great tools for motherhood
  • A Green Cleaner, Free pickup and delivery to your home!
  • Let them know you are open for business! Advertise in our May Issue!
  • Luxury living and compassionate care come together at starling. Welcome Home.
  • Tailored living Premier Garage solutions
  • Westminster St. Augustine. were here when you need us
  • Alive Credit Union Start banking healthier today!
  • Clara's Tidbits Now in Mandarin!
  • Brian E. Floro DMD, PA Dental services
  • JR Dental General, Specialty and Dental lab
  • Support community journalism! Subscribe to the Mandarin Newsline today!
  • Railing Chiropractic & Acupuncture
  • Let them know you are open for business! Advertise in our may issue!
  • HarborChase independent & assisted living Memory Care Mandarin. Your safety and peace of mind is always our Top Priority
  • Smart Choice Medical healthcare membership! No VoPay, No Deductibles, No Hassles
  • Havana Printing 904-447-5021