Kelli O'Hara to Star in Broadway Revival of 'Kiss Me, Kate'

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
Kelli O'Hara at the 2015 Tony Awards

A Tony Award winner for 'The King and I,' O'Hara will lead the cast in a 2019 Roundabout production of the beloved Cole Porter musical, directed by Scott Ellis and choreographed by Warren Carlyle.

Kelli O'Hara will star in a 2019 Broadway revival of Kiss Me, Kate, the sparkling musical comedy that was the first-ever winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical.

Featuring a book by Sam and Bella Spewack and a score by Cole Porter, the classic show charts the fireworks onstage and off in a production of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, directed and produced by egotistical Fred Graham, who plays Petruchio opposite his volatile movie-star ex-wife Lilli Vanessi as Kate, the dual role to be played by O'Hara.

The score contains such Porter standards as "Another Op'nin,' Another Show," "So In Love," "Too Darn Hot," "Always True to You in My Fashion" and "From This Moment On."

The musical won five Tony Awards for its 1948 premiere production, which played more than 1,000 performances; the show was last seen on Broadway in a hit 1999 revival that ran for two years, starring Brian Stokes Mitchell and Marin Mazzie. That production also won five Tonys, including Best Musical Revival. An MGM screen version, starring Kathryn Grayson and Howard Keel, was released in 1953.

Roundabout Theatre Company will produce the 2019 revival after featuring O'Hara in a 2016 one-night gala performance of the show, in which she starred opposite Will Chase as Fred/Petruchio. Casting of Fred and all other roles in the upcoming production will be announced at a later date.

O'Hara previously worked with Roundabout on a critically acclaimed 2006 revival of The Pajama Game, in which she starred opposite Harry Connick Jr. That show earned O'Hara the second of six Tony nominations; she scored her first win in 2015, for Lead Actress in a Musical in The King and I.

"Kelli O'Hara is inarguably one of the best actresses in the American theater," said Roundabout artistic director Todd Haimes in a statement. "We have been talking about projects for years and it is particularly thrilling to celebrate her return to Roundabout in a role that will showcase her impeccable range and virtuosic talent as a singer, actress and comedienne."

Director Scott Ellis and choreographer Warren Carlyle, who collaborated on Roundabout's revivals of She Loves Me, On the Twentieth Century and The Mystery of Edwin Drood, will reunite on Kiss Me, Kate, which is scheduled to begin performances in February 2019 at a theater to be announced.

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