Kiss Me Kate: 1969

We make a splendid start in Finland on January 30, at the Jyväskylä City Theater:

Now it’s across the Atlantic to meet Janie Eyler. She’s going to be spanked. You know why.

Of course, she’s playing Lilli in the KMK production by Frankfurt American High School, which had its first run of performances from March 27 through 29. Here she is with her costar, Mike Horak:

And the musical made quite an impression, because three weeks later it was brought back for two more shows on April 17 and 18. It seems Janie’s spanking also made an impression, because the new playbill for the new run had a new cover:

And that wasn’t the only school KMK spanking that spring. On March 14, at Terra Linda High School, San Rafael, California, Dan Jones did this to Marcia Bunney:

On March 20 and 21, at Oneonta High School, New York, senior Steve Sweet ended his high school acting career spanking Priscilla Truman:

On March 22, at Alhambra High School in Pasadena, California, the school’s arts festival included the following:

At Fayetteville High School, Arkansas, it was Jim Woolley spanking Jane Scott from May 7 through 9:

Also in the school year 1968-69, at E. E. Root High School, North Royalton, Ohio, Jim Kneaskerm spanked Linda Hohenfield, later a noted professional soprano:

17 KMK 1969 E E Root High School

And at Ocala High School, Florida, Steve Marko spanked Rusty Cole:

In England, the 1-12 July production at the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury, starred Ian White and American star Pat Michon. ‘The kissing has yet to start,’ commented the caption to this newspaper picture:

KMK 1969 Canterbury

Separated from it by a split-second was this one, headlined ‘A Spanking Good Time’:

And on the program cover:

September 11-13 saw Indiana’s Madison County Dramatic Players tackle KMK. And here’s Stan Ray tackling Barbara Finley, in rehearsal…

and in costume:

That costume was also the subject of an unusual story in the local newspaper:

The gowns for Barbara Finley, who will play Kate, must be attractive and comfortable for dancing, but also with ‘protection’ built in for the numerous times she will be spanked by Stan Ray, who plays the male lead.

Strange to tell, that sentence was then repeated almost word for word, save for the substitution of the names Felicie Brett and Ron Ruzzy, in a Connecticut paper’s account of preparations for the Naugatuck Footlighters production in December. And I guess that makes it a legitimate question whether the fair Mrs Brett, described as ‘delightful’ in a review of the production, actually had any such ‘protection’ at all!

And finally it’s back to Scandinavia to see Sten Gester spanking Berit Carlberg in a Stockholm production:

So ends the 1960s; and the 1970s start here.

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