Amadeus

No, not the 1979 Peter Shaffer play about Mozart’s rivalry with the less talented Salieri. That doesn’t feature a spanking scene, despite the fact that Mozart had an interest in spanking which inspired one of his great operatic arias, ‘Batti, batti’ in Don Giovanni, and despite the further fact that he frequently spanked his wife, Constanze. It should have been a shoo-in…

But I’m talking about the 2006 ballet of the same title by the German choreographer Ralf Rossa, whose later track record included a ballet adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew, complete with a spanking scene. So that’s promising…

And the promise pays off. Rossa’s Amadeus ballet includes a sexy pas de deux between Mozart and Constanze, played in the original production by Zdenko Galaba and Ludi Dutriez, who later played Kate in Rossa’s Shrew and had her skirt lifted for the spanking:

Michal Sedlacek as Petruchio; Ludi Dutriez as Kate

There was no skirt-lifting in Amadeus, for the simple reason that… there was no skirt: Constanze danced the pas de deux in her bloomers. Self-prepared, perhaps, and she ought to have known Mozart’s proclivities. But even so, she still looks a little surprised by her fate:

Amadeus ballet 2006 by Ballet Rossa w Zdenko Galaba as Mozart spanking Ludi Dutriez as Constanze

The Unlikely Lads

We recently saw how, in On Moonlight Bay (1951), Gordon MacRae spanks Doris Day under the mistaken impression that she’s a boy.

We don’t often encounter this type of scenario, but it’s actually a much older trope than the conventional M/F romantic spanking scenes we know and love. Those began to appear, it seems, towards the end of the nineteenth century, whereas the pedigree of the ‘gender confusion’ spanking is maybe two centuries longer, going back to at least 1698, the year in which the Restoration comedy Love and a Bottle premiered in London at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

It was the first play by the Irish playwright George Farquhar (1677-1707), and its story concerns the romantic misadventures of the rake Roebuck, who comes to London to escape his various entanglements in Ireland, and attempts to seduce Lucinda, who happens to be his best friend’s girlfriend. Another arrival is a page sent to Roebuck with a letter of introduction from one of the entanglements, the lovelorn Leanthe, but who is actually Leanthe herself: she has disguised herself as a boy so that she can be close to him.

This was a very hoary plot device even in 1698: it goes back to Shakespeare’s time, when female characters were routinely played by boys, so that it made theatrical sense for women to pose as boys – as in Twelfth Night and As You Like It, among others. Later on, in 1660, professional actresses began to appear on the English stage, but plays continued to be written that required them to don masculine attire, at least in part because it gave audiences the opportunity to see their legs; the roles were colloquially known as ‘breeches parts’. And that was the tradition in which Farquhar created Leanthe.

The actress who played the part in 1698 was Maria Alison. And in the first modern revival, at Manchester in 1967, Leanthe was none other than my beloved Elisabeth Sladen, seen here with Keith Washington as a grossly unobservant Roebuck:

Leanthe’s letter asks Roebuck to look after the page she is impersonating, but he does it by getting the ‘boy’ a job in Lucinda’s household. We first encounter her weeping at her situation, hopelessly in love with a man who does not love her. Roebuck has his own idea about why she might be crying: ‘Has your lady beaten you?’ he asks, introducing a theme which is going to develop.

Within the household, the pretty page becomes an object of sexual interest to the maid, Pindress, and the resulting commotion attracts Lucinda’s attention. The wily Pindress tells her what has been happening, but reverses the roles in an attempt to pin the misbehavior on Leanthe. And it very nearly works:

PINDRESS: I could not resist the little strong rogue; he whipped me up in his arms, like a baby, and had not your ladyship come in –

LUCINDA: What, sirrah, would you debauch my maid? you little cock-sparrow, must you be billing too? I have a great mind to make her whip you, sirrah.

To understand what’s happening here, we should remind ourselves of a point of historical semantics. For centuries, the verb to whip did not necessarily refer to hitting someone with a whip. Its looser sense was a synonym for the verb to spank, which itself is first recorded in 1727 and only seems to have achieved primacy over whip in the late nineteenth century. (Whip still survives in this sense in the American dialect form whup.) To illustrate the point, here’s a verse and a picture from a publication of c. 1820.

Jack and Jill

(It’s part of the nursery rhyme Jack and Jill, only with an older Jill than you often encounter in modern illustrations.)

So when Pindress uses the verb whip in a completely different sense – ‘whipped me up in his arms’ – it gives Lucinda an idea about how the page might be punished for this misdemeanor. Pindress becomes uncommonly eager to undertake the task:

PINDRESS: Oh, dear madam, let me do’t. I’ll take him into the room and I will so chastise him.

LUCINDA: But do you think you’ll be able, Pindress? I’ll send one of the men to help you.

PINDRESS: No, no, madam; I could manage him with one hand. See here, madam.

And with that, according to Farquhar’s stage direction, she picks up Leanthe and starts to run offstage with her – though it could just as well be played, and would be funnier, if she put Leanthe across her knee then and there. (I don’t know how they did it in 1967, when Pindress was played by Sara Kestelman, but I can fantasize…)

But that action is Leanthe’s salvation. Lucinda immediately spots that, if Pindress can pick Leanthe up so easily, her story doesn’t make any sense: ‘Is this you that the little strong rogue had almost ravished? He snatched you up in his arms like a baby?’ And so Pindress is disappointed: there will be no ‘whipping’ for Leanthe…

The key element of the scenario is most palatably explained with reference to a 1949 British film that, coincidentally, sometimes played as a second feature to On Moonlight Bay when it was eventually released in the US. The central character of The Romantic Age, retitled Naughty Arlette in America, never poses as a boy and, as embodied by Mai Zetterling, there is never any doubt of her femininity:

And she is appalling. One of the film’s early reviewers, in Indiana, says it all: ‘One feels that Arlette needs a daily hard spanking.’ The film itself, however, makes a lot of effort to tell us not to get our hopes up.

The story takes place at a private girls’ school which hires a middle-aged man, Arnold Dickson (Hugh Williams), to teach English literature. Meeting his class for the first time, he explains that until recently he has been teaching boys, and lays down some ground rules:

‘One thing I should like to make quite clear. I expect you to keep order and discipline in class and not make me have to enforce it. Now, I hope you won’t take advantage of the fact that I can’t use the same disciplinary methods with you as I could with members of the opposite sex.’

Arlette Tessereau does take advantage, big time: as Dickson later sums her up, ‘she’s conceited and spoilt’.

He makes that assessment when discussing his new pupils with his wife, Helen (Margot Grahame): ‘There’s one girl, a French girl. She’s got to be handled rather carefully. If she was a boy, the remedy’d be obvious and simple.’ And Helen replies, with pointed knowingness, ‘A good, sound spanking.’

All of this serves to establish, in the early stages of the film, what can’t be done to Arlette. She then grows progressively more appalling, more conceited and more spoilt, most obviously in trying to seduce Dickson. When Helen tries gently to have it out with her, Arlette takes it upon herself to reassure Helen that she isn’t interested in him, but adds that she could have him if she wanted. Helen in turn takes it upon herself to bring Arlette down a peg or two:

‘My dear child, do you really a believe a man of his ability and perception could possibly be serious about a silly little girl like you? Now, you go back to school. You know, I really should put you across my knee and give you a good spanking.’

It’s said in a patronizing tone that underlines her view of Arlette as a naughty child, not to be taken seriously. But this has the opposite of the desired effect: Arlette swears vengeance, and she duly induces Dickson to run away with her. Ultimately he’s brought to his senses by the intervention of his daughter (an early role for the singer Petula Clark) and Arlette goes home to pack her things before leaving town. This entails a bad-tempered encounter with the family butler, Hedges (Raymond Lovell), who winds up telling her a few home truths:

‘Throughout the many years it has been my privilege to serve Mr Tessereau, whom I consider in many ways my superior, I have always endeavored to tolerate his abominable daughter, but I fear without success. I have avoided putting my thoughts into words, but I think the time has now come when I may permit myself the liberty of saying that you ought to be put across somebody’s knee and spanked – hard. Furthermore, if it did not involve a certain loss of dignity on my part, I would not hesitate to do it myself. Goodnight.’

Initially, the film set itself a fundamental rule: however much she may deserve it, Arlette cannot be spanked, because she’s a girl. The progress of the story then makes Arlette deserve it more and more, while on the other side the film tries to find a way of getting around that obstructive rule. The scene with Helen introduces the possibility that Arlette might be spanked, subject to the right gender participation and to its being construed in a particular way: not M/F, of course, nor even F/F, either, but F/f, an adult woman spanking a child. This doesn’t get very far, perhaps in part because there’s a certain lack of credibility in asking anyone to take 18-year-old Arlette (let alone 24-year-old Mai Zetterling) for a lower-case ‘f’ – a juvenile girl. So what we end up with is Hedges the butler recapitulating the film’s central paradox: Arlette should be spanked, but Arlette isn’t going to be spanked because social convention dictates otherwise – whether the convention in question is the exemption of girls from corporal punishment or, in this case, the preservation of personal dignity.

And so, exit Hedges, closing the door behind him. The exasperated Arlette crosses the screen, but the camera stays on the door, and after a moment it reopens. Re-enter Hedges: ‘Dignity be blowed,’ he says.

And here the film is doing, in effect, the same as Hedges: they have both declared the rules of conduct they follow, rules which mean Arlette is protected from her just deserts no matter how dreadfully she behaves. But then, in one and the same action, Hedges discards his dignity, and the film throws away its original point of principle. And Arlette gets spanked.

One early reviewer, Richard Winnington in the News Chronicle, called it ‘a luscious spanking’, and it certainly breaks all decorum. Arlette is not just spanked, but spanked by a man. And not just a man, but a domestic servant.

Spanked, too, with a hairbrush, establishing that it is, as per Hedges’ prescription, hard.

And spanked in a diaphanous negligee with the seat of her white panties clearly visible through it!

It is, in short, the worst, most humiliating spanking that could possibly be inflicted on a character in a British film of that era. A satisfying conclusion to the story, and a fitting comeuppance for a naughty girl who was first introduced as unavoidably unspankable.

In all of this we’ve been going the long way around – I hope you’ve enjoyed the scenery – to establish a cultural fact. We tend to think of spanking specifically as a punishment for girls, at least when dealing with adolescence and young adulthood. The underlying assumption may be that older boys would be subject to more severe handling, with the whole equation perhaps running along the lines of ‘girls get spanked but boys get caned’ – though I suspect few of us give much thought to the masculine side of the coin, or have much interest in it.

But the truth, as illustrated by The Romantic Age, is rather different. A few more pieces of evidence will help to reinforce the point, starting with a single line of dialog in the 1937 film version of King Solomon’s Mines, which introduces a character undreamt of by Rider Haggard: the plucky Irish girl Kathy O’Brien, played by Anna Lee.

She steals a cart and drives out into the desert in search of her missing father, taking the trouble en route to change into a pair of men’s trousers which she has cut down to fit her shorter build. When Our Heroes catch up with her, one of them, played by John Loder, tells her,

‘If you weren’t a girl, I’d give you the hiding of your life!’

And this in 1937, squarely in the middle of the last century’s 1920s to 1950s spanking scene boom, when almost all the indications from stage and screen were that a girl couldn’t rely on the mere fact of being a girl to keep her bottom safe.

But what about real life? A 1961 edition of the British magazine Today ran an article with the enticing headline, ‘Should Big Girls Be Spanked?’ It’s essentially a piece about the pros and cons of corporal punishment for older girls, with a few entertaining opinions from celebrities (Shani Wallis is for, Susan Hampshire, against), and in the opening sentences the author, the Hungarian journalist Michael Karoly, unerringly puts his finger on a stress-point:

In the life of nearly every young girl there comes a time when a parental hand is raised to administer physical punishment – and then it stops.

Why?

Because the mother or father whose hand hovers in the air is thinking, ‘Isn’t she too old for this sort of thing? Will it do any good?’

No one worries unduly when a young child or a pimply lad gets a healthy tanning. But when the beauty and poise of womanhood can be seen peeping through the girlish gawkiness it is a different matter altogether.

So in general, the teenage boys of yesteryear were much more likely to be beaten than teenage girls or young women. That doesn’t mean that girls were never spanked – one look at Jack and Jill will disprove that – but simply that the relative frequency was different from what we often assume, and would no doubt prefer, to have been the case. And that is the central factor in the particular spanking trope we’re looking at.

In ‘breeches parts’, girls temporarily take on masculine identities to give themselves more freedom of movement than they would have as women, and sometimes also to discourage unwanted male attention. What Love and a Bottle capitalizes upon is that it also puts them into a much riskier zone when it comes to corporal punishment – a bit like Act Your Age, in which an adult woman poses as a child and duly gets spanked, only with added gender-bending. It also renders them liable to other kinds of physical interaction with men, which might be illustrated by the way Viola, in Twelfth Night, finds herself having to fight a duel; but there’s a more relevant example in the 1958 adventure film Son of Robin Hood.

As the story begins, Robin Hood is dead and the Merry Men are the wrong side of middle age. Robin’s only child, Deering Hood, is summoned home from Spain to lead them against a would-be tyrant – but it turns out that the son of Hood is actually a girl, played by June Laverick.

Fortunately another new arrival to the same port on the same day is a charismatic young man, played by David Hedison, who will make a much more convincing son of Robin Hood. Deering herself is put into tights and made to pose as his page.

‘Boy, you must be proud to serve such a master,’ says one of the outlaws, giving her a hearty smack on her curvaceous bottom.

She yelps, takes the assaulted portion in her hands, then moves to retaliate.

This succeeds in showing off some visible panty line which we must presume is not entirely anachronistic, given what we later observe when she’s changing into women’s clothes.

‘You’ll get used to our rough ways.’ says the bottom-smacking outlaw and walks off laughing. Later she’s invited to sit down. ‘Would that I could,’ she replies, rubbing her sore spot.

You may object that sitting down shouldn’t really be all that much of a problem after just the one smack, however spectacular. (You might also object that it didn’t land on the side she’s rubbing…) But maybe it’s different for girls, especially if they’re not used to being spanked. Perhaps you have noticed a recurring tendency in these scenes that we can reinforce by bringing in another example from another medium.

The Black Arrow (1888) is an adventure novel by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-94), who’s best known for three all-time classics: Treasure Island (1883), Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886) and Kidnapped (1886). The Black Arrow most resembles the last of these: a tale of a young hero’s derring-do set against turbulent historical events, in this case the Wars of the Roses, giving Stevenson the chance to write lots of cod pseudo-medieval dialog loosely imitated from Shakespeare. The hero, Richard Shelton, falls into the company of a youth named John Matcham, whom we know from the first is really the runaway ward Joanna Sedley. Richard, however, is so uninterested in girls that he can’t see her for what she is, and they develop a prickly relationship in which the difficulties arise from her periodic failures to meet his expectations of manliness. Eventually a quarrel ends with him deciding to assert his superiority in physical terms:

‘Ye deserve a belting, Master Matcham, for your ill-guidance and unthankfulness to me-ward; and what ye deserve, ye shall have.’

Whereupon he takes off his belt and advances to her-ward. But seeing her ‘large eyes and thin, weary face’, and embarrassed by her declared inability to resist, he decides not to go through with it. As he later explains, ‘I had a pity to you, and knew not why. When I would have belted you, the hand failed me.’ So unlike Arlette Tessereau, what she deserves, she doesn’t have.

And that’s the recurring tendency I mentioned: all of our examples of ‘gender confusion’ spankings so far, dating from three different centuries, either end early or never get started to begin with. It’s almost as if, in these circumstances, the writers are rather like the chastising parents in the Michael Karoly article: they don’t have the heart to go through with it.

But in fact it’s impossible to generalize about why this might be, because the situations, all similar in broad terms, are all different in detail. In Love and a Bottle, Leanthe escapes because at the last moment Lucinda spots that she is the victim of a false accusation, so that the spanking would be unjust. It’s also unjust in On Moonlight Bay – Marjorie was trying to prevent an accident and it was only bad luck that the gun went off when it was in her hand – but William doesn’t know that: what stops the spanking in its tracks is his realization that she’s a girl. Joanna’s escape in The Black Arrow, however, has nothing to do with her gender, as is apparent from this extraordinarily ripe observation from Richard after he learns the truth:

‘Joanna, y’ ’ave saved my life, and I have saved yours; and we have seen blood flow, and been friends and enemies – ay, and I took my belt to thrash you; and all that time I thought ye were a boy.’

It may not be entirely irrelevant at this point to throw in a fourth example, the scene in Floris (1969) where Countess Ada cross-dresses (rather spectacularly, it must be said) and gets spanked by a ruffian:

Floris 16

Only this time the spanking isn’t aborted, nor is it an unforeseen consequence of her apparent gender: it’s only after he discovers she’s female that he spanks her. Girls do get spanked – when they’re known to be girls.

But even that’s not a constant in these scenarios. In the next part of this series, we’ll see the rule broken.

Photographer of the Week: Rod Scarth

Rod Scarth 00

Rod Scarth is an alternative photographer based in Chippenham, Wiltshire, England, who shoots pictures that are variously beautiful, vibrant, dynamic and sometimes unsettling – all of which are encompassed by his preferred term, ‘thought-provoking’.

There are broadly two sides to his work. One is bespoke portraiture: always imaginative, often light and colorful.

But Rod also takes us to the dark side.

Our main concern is with a ‘killer women’ shoot which involved much peril for a nice young lady in pink panties.

The peril seems ultimately to have been terminal:

She’s alright really, as this behind the scenes shot reveals:

And that’s just as well, because it means we can still enjoy another thing that happened to her that day:

If you are interested in Rod Scarth’s work, please take a trip to the dark side by visiting his website.

Kiss Me Kate: 2008 (Continued)

Kiss Me Kate played at the 2008 Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown, New York, from July 5, with Brad Little and Lisa Vroman. Lisa’s Lilli wore one of the most unconventional costumes ever, and got a correspondingly non-standard spanking:

GlimmerglassGlimmerglass Opera 1Glimmerglass Opera 3Glimmerglass Opera 2You realize I won't be able to sit on the horse now!

But this was a two-spanking production (I’ve written about it at greater length here), and the second one was more as you’d expect:

Glimmerglass Opera 5 Dinner at Petruchio's

Anna Maria Keele was the Lilli in the July 19-27 production at the Performing Arts Center, Shreveport, Louisiana. Here she is:

Here she is with John Bogan as Fred:

According to the local press:

The musical’s playful take on “The Taming of the Shrew” has a spanking highlight near the end of act one. John Bogan is the play within the play’s director and star, Fred Graham/Petruchio. What a vicious, hard-palmed egomaniac he makes. His resentment for his ex and leading lady is palpable in the sense that it can be heard in Row K.

Here it is… at length!

And what is the palpable effect of a bloomers spanking so long and so resounding that it can be heard in Row K?

Over in England, Lookout Theatre Company played the musical from July 30 to August 3 at Bishton Hall, Stafford. Here’s Craig Chesters spanking Julia Waterfall:

Almost simultaneously, on August 1 and 2, Eva Varga was directing the musical at the Esztergom Theater in Hungary. Zoltan Kiss played Fred and Eva herself played Lilli, and therefore had only herself to blame when this happened to her:

Especially since there’s something more to do before Zoltan has her ready for her spanking:

The French Woods performing arts summer camp in New York staged Kiss Me Kate that summer:

And it was on the curriculum at Ripon Operatic Summer School from August 9 to 17 in a production that starred Kevin Whitfield as Fred, with two different Lillis across his knee. This one’s Joanne Harker:

But in other performances:

Also in August, the musical was produced by the German company Theater unter den Kuppeln. Lilli was Julia Brückner, and while there’s no picture of her being spanked by Markus Limbach as Fred, it’s obvious that he made quite an impact where it matters most:

September saw a Czech production with real-life couple Sebastian Gabrys and Anna Pasz as Fred and Lilli.

That brings our running total of raised skirts up to ten (and counting)… but it’s the eleventh entry that’s truly remarkable. It opened in Amish Acres in Indiana for a seven-week run from September 16 until November 2, and starred Matthew Sean Callaghan and Amber Burgess, who later became the theater’s artistic director. Here she is being spanked:

Panties Amish Acres 200847 2008 KMK Amber Burgess02 2008 KMK Matthew Sean Callahan & Amber Burgess

The reason this is important has to do with Lilli’s panties. When an actress is required to appear onstage in underwear, such as in Noises Off or What the Butler Saw, the undies will often be slightly exaggerated rather than everyday, as if to spare the actress’s modesty by removing the inference that it might actually be her underwear. (The male equivalent is comedy boxers.) The underwear is always overtly part of the costume, which is why a raised skirt in a Kiss Me Kate spanking usually reveals period bloomers or some elaborately frilly ensemble that no real actress would herself be wearing: there’s always the sense that the undies were chosen with the intention that at some point they would be seen. But there’s absolutely no exaggeration or caricature here: these are obviously regular contemporary panties, and therefore, unambiguously, Lilli Vanessi’s panties and not Kate’s, so the scene elides the safe distance between stage costume and actual underwear, which might mean Amber’s underwear as well as Lilli’s. I’ve written about this at greater length elsewhere, with more pictures from the production. For now, we’ll just make the admiring observation that this is the most courageous KMK performance we’re ever likely to see, and for that, Amber Burgess deserves the utmost respect.

Follow that? Well, nobody can, and it’s a little invidious to have to quote a critic who described our next example as ‘the best full up adult spanking fantasy sequence ever put on the legitimate stage’ – which better describes what happened to Amber Burgess in Indiana than the treatment Jean Tafler received from Steven Patterson at the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre between September 17 and October 12:

Not that it’s a bad KMK spanking, of course. Neither was the British production by the Thornbury Musical Theatre Group, which ran from October 14 to 18 and starred Mark Collins and Cheryl Wrench – though it has to be said that the posed publicity picture…

excelled what they actually did onstage:

To Massachusetts now, to witness scientists at play. The MIT Musical Theatre Guild performed KMK from November 7 to 15, and Justin Breucop spanked Kerry Brooke Steere:

November also sees our twelfth and final raised skirt of the year, at Tempe Little Theatre in Arizona.  Stephen Sylofski was Fred, Lisa Pan was Lilli, the show dates were November 14-30, and we begin with a picture from a rehearsal at which Lisa has just been spanked several times:

Still smiling? Not for long, perhaps:

The paddling of her life? And eventually, onstage:

Halfway through the Tempe run, on November 22, the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Florida put on Kiss Me Kate, with Nick Jones and Tiffany Gray:

And we end the year with a roundup of productions for which we have no precise show dates. A high school in Texas had a white Lilli spanked by a black Fred:

The Lilli here is a lady who rejoices in the name of Sunshine, but obviously doesn’t feel too sunny about what she’s enduring at the hands of an uncommonly lascivious Fred:

Up in North Dakota, and up in the gods:

At Columbia University:

At Villa Kleinheksel in North Carolina:

In the Netherlands:

And finally, a mocked-up picture with 2008 heads grafted onto 1960s bodies:

Identifications and further information welcome!

The Rising Moon of Day

Set in small-town Indiana in the years immediately before America entered the First World War, On Moonlight Bay (1951) is a gentle, nostalgic musical in the mode of Meet Me in St Louis. Well, mostly gentle. Except for when they shot this scene…

The story begins as the Winfield family move into a new district of town. Their banker father wants to be closer to his work, but he also wants to separate his tomboy daughter Marjorie (Doris Day) from her childhood friends and enable her to meet a better class of young man (or, putting it more directly, a better class of future son-in-law). Or at least encourage her to become more feminine, and stop dressing for baseball.

His plans seem at first to have very limited success. In an early scene, Marjorie is seen carrying out one of her feminine chores, beating the carpets, in the style of Babe Ruth. Then she persuades the local boys to let her into their ball game, and wins approval by getting to third base on the first strike, followed by a home run. Her acceptance as one of the lads is signified by the smack of the pitcher’s glove on her shapely rear end as she arrives:

On Moonlight Bay 1On Moonlight Bay 2a

There is one clear sign of her maturity: seeing her younger brother and a new friend, Jimbo Sherman, going into a barn with a cocked pistol, she intervenes to stop them doing something silly. Moments later, the slightly priggish university student William Sherman (Gordon MacRae), is doing much the same thing: he’s out looking for his errant kid brother when there is a discharge and the barn doors behind him are blown off their hinges. Picking himself up, he sees Marjorie holding the smoking gun, with the two boys at her side. ‘I’m going to teach you kids a lesson,’ he says, whereupon suddenly Marjorie no longer has two boys at her side. William disarms her, deftly aborts her efforts to escape…

On Moonlight Bay 3

… then bends her over like a jack-knife and begins to spank her.

He hesitates after the second slap. She twists round and looks up at him, and he does a double-take.

09 On Moonlight Bay

And with that, the scene changes to him arriving at the Winfield front door that evening, dressed up and bearing flowers for Marjorie – who is busy getting dressed up herself, and in a dress, too. Which her mother says is a first!

And so romance blossoms. But this is quite unlike the way spanking usually works in a romantic plot, as a way of crystallizing sexual tension between two people who are on course for one another. When William starts to spank Marjorie, it is on the assumption that she’s a boy, and the spanking comes to a premature and embarrassed end when it emerges – it seems from the evidence of both ends of her – that actually she’s a girl.

For William, it seems, that ain’t no way to treat a lady.

No Pants Subway Ride: The Best of 2018

01

Another year, another No Pants Subway Ride… and another survey of prime panties and best bottoms!

Forgotten something?

Are you absolutely sure?

Because, you know, there are photographers out.

They’re looking for something beautiful to photograph.

It could be you…

Oh… it is you – taking the pictures, I mean!

Not everyone wants to be quite so exposed on the No Pants Subway Ride, so choose your panties judiciously.

And you can always rely on the old maxim: there’s safety in numbers.

Now let’s follow an especially lovely group on their momentous pantsless ride through London. Make sure you have your ticket ready.

Await the train.

Here it comes.

Don’t be shy, now: board the train.

Ride the train.

Leave the train and exit the station.

You have completed your No Pants Subway Ride, and the whole world has admired your panties.

But there’s one little thing to beware. This annual event always takes place with the tacit assent of the subway authorities. But what happens if their employees don’t know that?

Bad girl! Next time, don’t forget your pants!

Kiss Me Kate: 2008

A spectacular year for Kiss Me Kate, 2008 began in Kansas, where the City Theatre of Independence mounted a production that played January 17-27 and left many photographic riches behind it. The role of Lilli was taken by Marcie Ramirez:

And here’s Brad Wright, who plays Fred, taking advantage of his opportunities:

32a 2008 Independence City Theatre

And those opportunities were many, even though the run was only a week and a half. One of their early tasks was to pose for the obligatory publicity photograph:

32b KMK Independence publicity

This duly featured in the advertising and program cover:

Marcie was spanked in rehearsals:

33 2008 KMK Independence rehearsal34 2008 Independence rehearsal35 KMK 2008 Independence rehearsal36 KMK 2008 Independence rehearsal

She was spanked in dress rehearsals:

37 2008 Independence City Theatre38 2008 Independence City Theatre39 2008 Independence City Theatre40 2008 Independence City Theatre41 2008 Independence City Theatre42 2008 Independence City Theatre

And needless to say, she was spanked in performance:

Over in Germany, the Kolping Musiktheater in the town of Schwabish Gmund played the musical for seven performances between January 25 and February 3. Fawn Arnold was Lilli, and Claus Biechele opted to spank her OTS rather than OTK:

This does not appear to have proved any less effective:

In England, Wellingborough Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society weighed in from February 26 to March 8:

February 27 to March 15 saw a school production at the Franz Schubert Konservatorium in Vienna:

11a-kmk-2008-franz-schubert-211-kmk-2008-franz-schubert

But the theme of the year kicks in at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre, Tampa Bay, where KMK opened on February 29 and ran until April 13. For 2008 was, to date, the apogee of raised-skirt Kiss Me Kate spanking in the musical’s stage history. Doing the honors is W. C. Green, and wearing the bloomers is Jan Leigh Herndon:

That doesn’t mean skirts were always raised in 2008, just as we don’t always find KMK spanking photos that are so excellently posed. Over in England, East Surrey Operatic Society staged the musical, with Lee Power and Jane Hogg:

Also early that spring, in March and through April 5, Cat Chiappa gave her Lilli for the Colonial Players of Annapolis, Maryland:

Back in England, the Trinity Amateur Operatic Society production, which ran in Congleton from March 10 to 15, featured Nigel Evans and Hannah Bours in this publicity spanking:

04 2008 Congleton

Where are you least likely to find a raised-skirt KMK spanking? Probably in a high school production. Unless of course it’s this high school in New York, where the musical ran March 13-16:

In Randolph, New Jersey, we find Jill Cappucino showing off her fetching pink bloomers:

Now she gets the seat of them spanked by Andrew Lorenzo:

Bloomers Pink

The production ran at the County College of Morris from April 2-5. And the very next day, April 6, Kiss Me Kate opened again in Connecticut. This high school production managed to drop the curtain directly onto the spanking, leaving Lilli’s fluttering legs still visible to the audience:

Also in early April, at a community college in New York:

Meanwhile, in Missouri:

Still in April (and opening on the 15th), Keith Parish spanked Mandy Goddard for England’s Studley Operatic Society:

On April 18, Forest Grove, Oregon’s Theatre in the Grove company commenced three weeks of singing and spanking:

Do you think she’ll make it to closing night on May 11?

The Sainsbury Singers of Reading, England, staged their production April 22-26, starring Rob Latimer and Emma Reeves

And April 25-26 saw the following wonderful spectacle at a high school in Ohio:

Here’s a shot of an uncommonly vigorous rehearsal at a Michigan high school which staged the musical from April 25 to May 3:

Another high school, another state (Maryland, to be precise), but the exact same show dates, saw this unusual staging of the spanking scene:

07 2008 Magruder08 2008 Magruder09 2008 Magruder

The same Lilli also found herself over a table…

10 2008 Magruder11 2008 Magruder

and being whacked with the business end of a broom:

12 2008 Magruder 113 2008 Magruder 2

The next high school show, in Virginia, was double cast for the four performances from April 30 to May 3. Here’s the opening night cast:

But later:

Still in April, at a grammar school in Lancashire, England:

Also in the spring, here’s Katie Miller being spanked in a production at Boulder, Colorado, by the Boulder Broadway Company:

Back to school now, this time in Delaware, as we enter May. The first three days of the month featured this raised-skirt spanking, only this time with added petticoats, and lots of them:

Down under, the Park Players of Ringwood, Victoria, staged three performances from May 16 to 18. Zak Brown was Fred, Liz Matjacic was Lilli, and neither of them are seen in the poster’s representation of the spanking scene:

(It’s Bill Johnson and Patricia Morison in the original London production of 1951, a picture the designer must have found on the internet.)

In a production opening on May 23 at Theater Krefeld in Germany, Christoph Erpenbeck has a smack for Isabelle Razawi’s bottom:

In May, there opened a major, long-running production at the Berlin Comic Opera, with Roger Smeets as Fred and Dagmar Manzel as Lilli. (Peter Brding later took over as Fred.)

In a production which showed many of the excesses of modern German theater, this was not the most convincing rendering of the scene, since Lilli stayed on her feet throughout and shuffled round in a circle as she was spanked.

June 11-29 were the show dates at Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre in Pennsylvania, with Ed Bara and Sarah Primmer. This was another of those pusillanimous skirt-raisings where the spanking gets administered on an underskirt – but on the bright side, at least it is a skirt-raising!

From June to August, Kiss Me Kate was staged at the Summer Repertory Theatre, Santa Rosa, California. Here’s a glimpse of what Allison Rich has to offer as Lilli:

And here’s a glimpse of her being spanked on those tight, bright, white shorts:

Yes, the guy in the foreground is frustrating, but bear in mind that he’s only doing his job: with no curtain to bring down as scripted (by the Spewacks), the actors in Fred Graham’s Shrew company had to improvise their ’emergency measures’ to stop the audience seeing the whole of that indecorous and (by Shakespeare) unscripted spanking!

Come back next time for some even more spectacular Kiss Me Kate spanking from 2008!