So a couple years revising the “After The Hat (Working Title)” script. Some nice surprises with our May-December love story between Anthony and Evangeline. But not a big triumph with main love story.
Flash forward to early August 2012. My sister Mary and I were talking about the brilliance of West Side Story. How it was such a fantastic musical with it’s Romeo and Juliet storyline. Borrow from Billy Shakespeare to create a musical? Interesting idea. Not the first to do it. Kiss Me Kate used parts of Taming Of The Shrew as a subplot vehicle.
But wait! 10 Things I Hate About You was also based on Shrew! It was a clever romantic comedy with the Kate character played deftly by Julia Stiles and the Petruchio character by Heath Ledger in his first movie. NOW we’re getting somewhere!
What if we made “Hat” into a modern version of Taming Of The Shrew? We can use all the wonderful dialog Patsy wrote for Anthony and Evangeline and simply reassign to a new character. Maybe Hortensio, Petruchio’s friend who’s smitten with Kate’s sister Bianca until he meets Evangeline? Devise a modern take on the Kate-Petruchio “romance.” Give the conclusion a nice feminine-wins-in-the-end-twist? Perhaps set in Little Italy, NYC, 1975? Something like this…
“Trippin’ Along” is Petruchio’s entrance into town song. Our young stud Lucentio who flips for Kate’s sister Bianca sings “Too Cool” as he arrives in Gotham. (Can really see a great dance production number with this!) As Lucentio and Bianca fall in love they sing “It’s Our Turn” together. And when Petruchio finally convinces Kate (and her father) to leave with him, they do a swingin’ duet singing “Let’s Roll The Dice”. Meanwhile, poor Hortensio is feeling like “Mr. Nobody” (with some lyric tweaks) until he meets the beguiling “Evangeline.” And we learn why Kate has been so angry in Act II when she reveals her sadness over her mother’s death with the touching eleven o’clock number, “Watch Over Me.” And Kate and Bianca’s father, Pops? He’s cranky about what he sees on TV and with the male ensemble sings “Turn Off The News.” Of course the show will wrap up with the wonderfully soulful “Tell The People.” Oh yeah!
Lawdy, Lawdly! Might this be the key? Stay tuned and see!