Jan 16, 2016
10 Reasons Why "Kiss Me, Kate" is a Gay Classic
2. As with most musicals, there are two romantic plots. The "serious" one involves director/star Fred Graham and his costar Lilli Vanessi. But their bickering romance is so ludicrously over-the-top that it's not serious at all:
Gazing down on the Jungfrau, from our secret chalet for two
The Jungfrau is the highest mountain in Europe. You can't gaze down on it from anything but an airplane.
4. Author Cole Porter was gay, and infused his lyrics with coded -- and not so coded -- gay references for those "in the know." For instance, in"Too Darn Hot," among the various couples for whom the hot weather is impeding sexual activity: The Marine for his Queen is not.
Marines were notorious for thinking of themselves as heterosexual as long as they were active partners in their relationships with the passive, gay-coded "queens."
5. Even when the lyrics aren't gay-coded, they're humorously risque. For instance, in "Always True to You (In My Fashion)," Lois explains to Bill why she has sex for money:
I could never curl my lip
To a dazzlin' diamond clip,
Though the clip meant "let 'er rip," I'd not say "Nay!"
7. Two gangsters, Lippy and Slug, appear on stage to collect on a loan. They sing "Brush Up Your Shakespeare," about using Shakespearean quotes to get girls:
If she says you're behavior is heinous, kick her right in the Coriolanus.
But their demeanor and body language makes it clear that they are a couple.
8. In the 1953 movie, one of the gangsters is played by Keenan Wynn, who was gay.
10. The other actors wear Elizabethan tights that are perfect for accentuate beneath-the-belt gifts, so you'll get several more surprises if you watch carefully. Try it at your local community theater, too.
See also: All that Jazz; My Fair Lady.