Kiss Me Kate | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

This is one of the classiest and most experimental 3-D efforts from Hollywood--as well as one of the best MGM musicals of the 1950s that didn't come from the Arthur Freed unit--so it's good to see it revived in its original form, complete with a stereo sound track. Adapted by Dorothy Kingsley from the successful 1948 Cole Porter stage musical, and directed by the underrated George Sidney, it does interesting things with mirrors, windows, and the relationship between stage and audience, always making sure that a lot of things get thrown at the spectator and often paradoxically exploiting 3-D as an artificial and antirealistic effect. Kathryn Grayson and Howard Keel play an estranged couple, an actress and director who uneasily join forces in a musical version of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, with much confusion and comic overlapping of life and art. The use of 3-D exploits the ambiguous place between these realms by playing on artifice and the differences between theatrical space and film space. In addition, the cast (which also includes Ann Miller, Tommy Rall, Bobby Van, Bob Fosse, and Carol Haney) and the score (which includes a showstopper by Keenan Wynn and James Whitmore, "Brush Up Your Shakespeare") are consistently pleasurable (1953). On the same program, the Three Stooges in Spooks, a 3-D short. (Music Box, Sunday through Thursday, June 17 through 21)

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