Tonawanda News — “Fred and Petruchio, even though they’re different people, are very similar,” he said. “They’re both showmen. There are enough similarities that I have to work to do things differently for each person.”
The show marks a sort of change in direction of another sort for Mount St. Mary Academy. Steve Copps, an award-winning actor who has performed extensively in local productions, is serving as director for the show. His wife, Kelly Jakiel Copps — who has also performed in many Buffalo-area productions, is a co-founder of Second Generation Theater in Buffalo, a 2004 MSM graduate and the school’s new dance and theater teacher — is the show’s choreographer.
Steve Copps said in selecting the show, they took a look at the restrictions and strengths of the student body before picking “Kiss Me, Kate,” a musical with a number of challenges for the students.
“It was one of my personal favorites. I’m a fan of the old classical book musicals,” he said. “It’s a great story. There are a lot of roles for everybody.
“There are multiple opportunities to craft characters, and there are a few who are really making the most of it,” he said, citing Fairbanks, who alternates from playing a somewhat spoiled Lilli to playing a very shrewd, strong Kate.
“We thought it had some interesting challenges and great opportunities for the kids,” Kelly Copps said. “We’ve been very pleasantly surprised with how everyone has risen to the challenge.”
So are the students.
Britini D’Angelo, a junior who plays the role of Paula and sings the number “Too Darn Hot” in the musical, said the show is “amazing.”
“We’ve made great progress. The cast is fabulous,” she said. “It’s not the simplest musical to do. There’s so much in it. But we’re going to put on a great production and I hope everyone else thinks so too.”IF YOU GO • WHAT: "Kiss Me Kate" • WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 2 p.m. Nov. 24 • WHERE: Mount St. Mary Academy auditorium, 3756 Delaware Ave., Kenmore • COST: Tickets are $10 for adults and students and $8 for children younger than 14 and senior citizens. For more information, call 877-1358.