Kiss Me Kate was first produced on Broadway in 1948. Winning the first ever Tony award for Best Musical,the show was inspired by the real-life sparring between onstage/offstage couple Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne. With music by Cole Porter, it was an immediate success, running on Broadway for 1,077 performances. It opened in London’s West End in 1951 at the Coliseum Theatre, running for 400 performances. It has since been revived in both New York and London, several times, most recently in 2012 at London’s Old Vic Theatre.
The musical was Cole Porter’s response to Rodgers and Hammerstein’s integrated musicals and the first of his shows in which the music and lyrics were directly linked to the plot. In 2015, the 1949 original cast recording was introduced into the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry for its contribution to American culture.