Let’s Make A Deal host Wayne Brady will star with Merle Dandridge (Spamalot) in the Pasadena Playhouse season opener, a revival of Cole Porter’s 1951 Shakespeare-inspired romp, Kiss Me, Kate. The tuner (“Too Darn Hot,” “Brush Up Your Shakespeare,” “Another Op’nin’, Another Show”) will run from September 16 through October 12, with the press opening on September 21.
The Pasadena Playhouse production, staged by longtime artistic director Sheldon Epps, “will view the work through a new lens to showcase the trailblazing African-American actors and entertainers of the early 20th century,” according to a statement from the group.
For this quintessential backstage musical revolving around a production of the Bard of Avon’s The Taming Of The Shrew, Brady will play the dual roles of actor Fred/character Petruchio opposite the actress Lily/character Kate of Dandridge, best known for her Broadway turn as the Lady of the Lake in the Mike Nichols production of Spamalot.
Brady first came to notice on the improv show Whose Line Is It Anyway? for which he won an Emmy and two nominations. The Wayne Brady Show brought two more Emmys, for Outstanding Talk Show Host. Other TV credits include The Dave Chappelle Show and 30 Rock. Brady was Grammy nominated for Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance for “A Change Is Gonna Come” from his debut musical album, A Long Time Coming.