A few weeks back, I posted here a wonderful 23-minute video of Alfred Drake performing a medley of some of this famous songs from Broadway. It's was particularly special since there is so little footage of him in performance.
Probably his most famous role was the lead in the original Broadway production of Cole Porter's huge hit, Kiss Me, Kate. Happily, among the very few productions he did for either TV or movies, in 1958 Drake re-created his starring role along with Patricia Morison, his leading lady from the original Braodway cast, in an edited-down production for television. Unhappily, that full production appears to be lost. Happily, some of it still exists on film.
And happily, here he is with one of the wonderful numbers, "I've Come to Wife It Wealthily in Padua." The musical is a show within a show. Drake plays egotistical actor Fred Graham, who is starring in and directing a musical production of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew as Petruchio -- trying to keep the show together, as his ex-wife and leading lady is planning to quit and marry another man -- and one of the supporting actors his being hounded by two thugs for a gambling debt, but making them believe it's Graham who owes the money. In this song, we're in the Taming of the Shrew part of the show, and Petruchio has arrived in town with one goal on his mind.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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