The Broadway musical Kiss Me Kate was the big winner at Sunday's Tony awards, scooping up five trophies, but not one was for Marin Mazzie, for leading actress in a musical. That went instead to Heather Headley in Aida.
This is the third Tony nomination for Mazzie, who dropped by The Early Show a few days beforehand to perform I Hate Men, one of the songs in Kiss Me Kate. Her first two nominations were for Passion and Ragtime. Her other Broadway credits include Into the Woods (Rapunzel, Witch, Cinderella), Big River (Mary Jane Wilkes), and Out of This World (Helen).
Before heading over to the Tony Awards ceremony Sunday evening, Mazzie and the Kiss Me Kate cast had an afternoon matinee to perform. Mazzie went to the ceremony with her parents, because her husband is in a stage production of The Full Monty on the West Coast.
Kiss Me Kate is set backstage during an out-of-town tryout for a musical based on Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. Egotistical actor-producer Fred Graham (Brian Stokes Mitchell) and his ex-wife, Lilli Vanessi (Mazzie) bicker and romance their way through a legendary score by Cole Porter.
The original production of Kiss Me Kate opened on Broadway Dec. 30, 1948 and ran for 1077 performances. It starred Alfred Drake as Fred, Patricia Morison as Lilli, Lisa Kirk as Lois and Harold Lang as Bill. It was the first Broadway musical to win a Tony Award.
While some subtle changes were made to the script, for the most part, it is the same show that audiences saw when it opened in 1948.
"People wanted to rewrite the story, the book," Mazzie explains. "What we found, and what we know now, playing to such crowds, the show works. It didn't need to be rewritten. It plays just as great as it did 50 years ago."