"Kiss Me, Kate" Brings a 1949 Show to a 1931 Venue - Live On Stage at Warner Grand Theatre

The art-deco jewel of downtown San Pedro, Warner Grand Theatre will host the new production by The Relevant Stage of KISS ME KATE, opening February 17, 2011.

The Relevant Stage (TRS), San Pedro's musical theatre company, presents "Kiss Me, Kate" February 17 - 27 at the Warner Grand Theatre, 478 West Sixth Street. This play-within-a-play, with music by Cole Porter and book by Sam and Bella Spewak, originally debuted on Broadway in 1948 and won five Tony Awards, including Best Revival in 2000. Ray Buffer directs.

"Kiss Me, Kate" recounts the backstage and onstage antics of two feuding romantic couples during a touring musical production of "Shrewsical" a tune-filled adaptation of Shakespeare's "The Taming of The Shrew." Sparkling with 18 classic Cole Porter songs - including "Another Op'nin', Another Show," "Wunderbar," "So In Love," "Always True to You in My Fashion," "Too Darn Hot," and "Brush Up Your Shakespeare" - "Kiss Me, Kate" epitomizes the Broadway musical comedy at its irresistible best.

"Kiss Me, Kate" stars Kristin Towers Rowles, Ray Buffer, Jessica Marie Taylor and Drew Fitzsimmons as the bickering couples whose offstage disputes ultimately entangle them with a pair of unexpectedly erudite gangsters (Greg Abbot and Michael Jay Aronovitz) and a megalomaniacal U.S. Army general (Martin Feldman). Creative crew includes: Stephen Tosh, musical direction; Richard Taylor, lighting design and Kara McLeod, costume design.

Frequent TRS leading lady, Kristin Towers-Rowles, takes on the role of Lilli/Vanessa, made famous by her screen and stage starlet grandmother, Kathryn Grayson. Grayson is perhaps best known for her roles in "Anchors Aweigh" with Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra, and "Showboat" with Howard Keel as well as the 1953 MGM film adaptation of the musical, "Kiss Me Kate." This production takes on an additional poignancy opening on the exact one-year anniversary of her death, February 17, 2011.

"Kiss Me, Kate" plays for 12 performances beginning February 17 and runs Thursdays and Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 2:30 and 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 and 7:00 p.m. General admission tickets are: $20 adult, $15 senior (55+)/college student, and $5 18 and under; Prestige Seating (first five rows, reserved seat) is $30 adult, $25 senior (55+)/college student, and $10 18 and under. A special Wine Lover's Package that includes Prestige Seating and wine tasting at Off The Vine across the street from the Warner Grand at 491 6th St. prior to the show is available for $40 per person. Tickets can be ordered by phone at (800) 838-3006 or online at http://www.therelevantstage.com.

The Relevant Stage's fourth season continues with, pending licensing agreements: "Violet;" "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change;" "Annie;" "Frankenstein, the Musical; "Rent;" and the return of "The Christmas Carol." The company is offering a flexible subscription plan for its 2011 season of seven productions - just $75 for adults and $25 for 18 and under buys tickets to your choice of productions in 2011 at a discounted rate of nearly 50%. Flexible subscription members enjoy a guaranteed seat to every TRS production.

ABOUT KRISTIN TOWERS-ROWLES (as Lilli Vanessi/Katharine):

Kristin grew up with complete strangers telling her how much they loved and worshiped her "Granny" - it wasn't until she was a teenager that she truly realized how special her family history really is. In Jan. 2010, while rehearsing I Love You, You're Perfect Now Change, Ray Buffer offered Kristin the wonderful opportunity to do Kiss Me, Kate in 2011 as an homage to her Grandmother, Kathryn Grayson. A few weeks later, on Feb. 17th, 2010 at the age of 88 years old, her Grandmother passed away. This performance is dedicated to the memory of her beloved Grandmother, whose beauty, talent and spirit touched her family and the world; making an indelible mark on Movie & Broadway musicals for eternity. Since joining TRS in 2010, Kristin has played Woman 1 in I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, Muriel Eubanks in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Agent McynTyr in The One & Only & Milly in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Kristin is an LA Native who graduated Best Actress/Singer from Hollywood High Performing Arts & then trained in Musical Theatre at AMDA in NYC. International and National Tours include Phantom of the Opera/Les Miserables in Concert (Christine/Cosette), HMS Pinafore (Josephine) and The Mikado (Yum Yum). Recent regional credits include Pippin (Fastrada), Guys & Dolls (Sarah) & Nunsense (Sister Mary Amnesia). Kristin will next be seen in Sunday in the Park with George (Dot/Marie) at the Complex in Hollywood Mar. 4-13, '11 w/ The Still Hungry Theater Company & The Chantilly Sisters at West Valley Playhouse thru April 2011. Then, July 24th, 2011, Kristin will debut her solo show, A Lovely Lineage at Sterlings Upstairs at Vitellos. Kristin is blessed to be a wife to her awesome hubby, Ryan, & mom to her 3 gorgeous daughters. www.kristintowers-rowles.com

ABOUT RAY BUFFER (as Fred Graham/Petruchio):

Ray is the Founder, Artistic and Managing Director of The Relevant Stage Theatre Company at Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro, California. He is an actor, director, vocalist, composer, filmmaker and producer residing in San Pedro, CA. Ray spent the first 30 years of his life in Florida, where he studied musical theatre and music, gaining his BFA before moving to Southern California in 1999. He has worked for various professional theatres and entertainment attractions as an actor, director and stage manager. Credits include, Lawrence Jameson in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Adam Pontipee in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Jamie Wellerstein in The Last Five Years, Uncle Chris in I Remember Mama, Jud Fry in Oklahoma!, Tevye and Lazar Wolf in Fiddler on the Roof, Bill Sikes in Oliver!, Stanley Sanders in Smoke On the Mountain, Lank Hawkins in Crazy For You, and Fudge in Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. Directing credits include but are not limited to: Noises Off!, Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Over There/Over Here, and Pajama Game. As an Equity stage manager of over 350 performances, he has worked with such greats as Phyllis Diller, Jayne Meadows and the late, Steve Allen. He is also a keyboardist and has composed music for the film, Dangerous Perspectives and for the theatre productions, Parade of Fairytales, 6th Street Burlesque and Coffee & Cabaret. He has appeared on various television shows and in films, such as Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Hulk, Surviving Christmas and She Spies and Eyes, to name a few. He has also worked in Marketing and Development for non-profit theatres such as Spotlite Players, Boca Raton Theatre Guild, Jan McArt's Royal Palm Dinner Theatre and The Laguna Playhouse. Ray also served as General Manager for the Long Beach Opera. He is the Chorus Master for a series of concerts called Christmas with the Mantovani Orchestra and Singers. With writing partner Robert Gross, he also created The Christmas Carol - an annual production, and Singing Jailbirds. He also travels to schools and cinemas bringing the documentary he co-produced, Rats & Bullies: The Dawn-Marie Wesley Story to students, parents and teachers around the world. www.raybuffer.com