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Priory production of “Kiss Me, Kate” a success

kiss me kate

kmk actorsThe Priory Fine Arts Department celebrated 20 years of the Kevin Kline Theatre with the production of “Kiss Me, Kate,” a musical that ran February 16-19. Music and lyrics are by Cole Porter, and the original production was a comeback and personal triumph for Porter. It proved to be his biggest hit and the only one of his shows to run for more than 1,000 performances on Broadway.

“Kiss Me, Kate,” tells the story of two one-married, now-divorced musical theater actors, Fred Graham and Lilli Vanessi, who are performing opposite each other in a Broadway-bound musical version of William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. The pair begin an all-out emotional war mid-performance when Lilli discovers Fred sent his latest fling, Lois Lane, Lilli’s wedding bouquet. The only thing keeping the show together are threats from a pair of gangsters: Lois’s steady boyfriend, Bill Calhoun, loves to gamble, and to avoid the responsibility of paying his debts has signed Fred’s name to an IOU. Gangsters have come to collect on it, and this show will provide the money that Fred needs to avoid getting his fingers broken. In classical musical comedy fashion, madness ensues.

Priory seniors Connor Donnelly (Fred Graham), Collin Limp (Bill Calhoun), Paul Trebing (Pops the Doorman), and Gregory Jones (Philip) capped their musical theater careers at Priory with wonderful performances. Juniors Danny Weissert and Joey Mathis stole the show with their brilliant renditions of the two hapless gangsters, complete with Bronx accents, dance skills, and perfect comedic timing. Sophomore Patrick LaVallee led a rousing nearly-full-cast dance routine to “Too Darn Hot.” Congratulations to all of them, and to Robbie Frei, Jacob Cichelero, Wilmsen Craig, Andrew Johnson, Noah Mollett, Jamie O’Brien, Ian Rosebrough, William Steussie, Andrew Stein, Anthony Jones, and Ian Crossey for their great performances.

Sophomore Wil Craig said, “We kept getting better, less nervous, and by Saturday it was fun.” Mrs. Raley, Fine Arts Department Chair and theatre instructor, agreed. “It’s kind of like becoming state champions in sports. You get better and better as you go. By Saturday, they really knew what they were doing, and Sunday was a lot of fun. Unfortunately, that was our last performance!”

kmk sceneCongratulations to the crew, too, for creating wonderful scenery and for making the musical seem like magic on the stage: Anthony O’Sullivan, Wildes Rempe, Tommy Messmer, Robert Bordeaux, Alexander McAuliffe, Thomas Clear, Thomas de Wolff, Peter Hedlesky, Andrew Heim, Dominic Kolthoff, Henry Rosebrough, Sean Moen, Kevin Flores, Jacob Mercer, Jimmy Fox, Adam Saleh, Paul Villa, Thomas Fonseca, Christopher Wetzel, Cal Fiala, Petey Kraemer, and Eli Swift.

Mrs. Raley said, “We had a great cast and crew. They really jelled, and are an awesome group of kids. They enjoyed being with each other, and even exchanged Secret Santa gifts at Christmas. We had fun through the whole experience, even while the cast and crew worked really hard.”

Special thanks to Father Michael for his cameo appearance as the baseball bat-wielding cab driver, looking for his two-dollar fare from Bill Calhoun.

“Listen carefully, my son, to the master’s instructions, and attend to them with the ear of your heart.”

Prologue, 1

“This is advice from a father who loves you; welcome it, and faithfully put it into practice.”

Prologue, 1

“First of all, every time you begin a good work, you must pray to him most earnestly to bring it to perfection.”

Prologue, 4

“If you desire true and eternal life, keep your tongue free from vicious talk and your lips from all deceit; turn away from evil and do good; let peace be your quest and aim. (Ps 33[34]:13)”

Prologue, 17

“Clothed then with faith and the performance of good works, let us set out on this way, with the Gospel for our guide, that we may deserve to see him who has called us to his kingdom (1 Thess 2:12).”

Prologue, 21

“If we wish to dwell in the tent of this kingdom, we will never arrive unless we run there by doing good deeds.”

Prologue, 22

“What is not possible to us by nature, let us ask the Lord to supply by the help of his grace.”

Prologue, 41

“Therefore, we intend to establish a school for the Lord’s service.”

Prologue, 45

“The good of all concerned, however, may prompt us to a little strictness in order to amend faults and to safeguard love.”

Prologue, 47

“The reason why we have said all should be called for counsel is that the Lord often reveals what is better to the younger.”

Chapter 3, 3

“Your way of acting should be different from the world’s way; the love of Christ must come before all else.”

Chapter 4, 20-21

“Never give a hollow greeting of peace or turn away when someone needs your love.” –Chapter 4, 25-26

“Bind yourself to no oath lest it prove false, but speak the truth with heart and tongue.”

Chapter 4, 27-28

“Place your hope in God alone.”

Chapter 4, 41

“Respect the elders and love the young.”

Chapter 4, 70-71

“Pray for your enemies out of love for Christ. “

Chapter 4, 72

“If you have a dispute with someone, make peace with him before the sun goes down.”

Chapter 4, 73

“The first step of humility is unhesitating obedience, which comes naturally to those who cherish Christ above all.”

Chapter 5, 1-2

“Speaking and teaching are the master’s task; the disciple is to be silent and listen.”

Chapter 6, 6

“The first step of humility, then, is that a man keeps the fear of God always before his eyes (PS 35[36]:2) and never forgets it.”

Chapter 7, 10

“Let us consider, then, how we ought to behave in the presence of God and his angels, and let us stand to sing the psalms in such a way that our minds are in harmony with our voices.”

Chapter 19, 6-7

“On arising for the Work of God, they will quietly encourage each other, for the sleepy like to make excuses.”

Chapter 22, 8

“Every age and level of understanding should receive appropriate treatment.”

Chapter 30, 1

“Above all, let him be humble. If goods are not available to meet a request, he will offer a kind word in reply, for it is written: A kind word is better than the best gift (Sir 18:17).”

Chapter 31, 13-14

“Let all the rest serve one another in love.”

Chapter 35, 6

“Indeed, nothing is to be preferred to the Work of God.”

Chapter 43, 3

“Idleness is the enemy of the soul. Therefore, the brothers should have specified periods for manual labor as well as for prayerful reading.”

Chapter 48, 1

“The life of a monk ought to be a continuous Lent.”

Chapter 49, 1

“All guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ, for he himself will say: I was a stranger and you welcomed me (Matt 25:35).”

Chapter 53, 1

“Proper honor must be shown to all, especially to those who share our faith (Gal 6:10) and to pilgrims.”

Chapter 53, 2

“(B)ecause wherever we may be, we are in the service of the same Lord and doing battle for the same King.”

Chapter 61, 10

They should each try to be the first to show respect to the other (Rom 12:10).”

Chapter 63, 17

“We wish this rule to be read often in the community, so that none of the brothers can offer the excuse of ignorance.”

Chapter 66, 8

“Trusting in God’s help, he must in love obey.”

Chapter 68, 5

Never to do another what you do not want done to yourself (Tob 4:16).”

Chapter 70, 7

“No one is to pursue what he judges better for himself, but instead, what he judges better for someone else.”

Chapter 72, 7

“Let them prefer nothing whatever to Christ, and may he bring us all together to everlasting life.”

Chapter 72, 11-12

“What page, what passage of the inspired books of the Old and New Testaments is not the truest of guides for human life?”

Chapter 73, 3

“What book of the holy catholic Fathers does not resoundingly summon us along the true way to reach the Creator?”

Chapter 73, 4


Saint Louis Abbey

Saint Louis Priory School

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St. Louis, MO 63141
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