Meet ‘Fred Graham’ and ‘Lilli Vanessi’ from “Kiss Me Kate’
Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra’s Kiss Me Kate features local and national talent! We are pleased to introduce you to the Broadway performers playing our lead characters – Fred Graham and Lilli Vanessi.
Michele Ragusa (Lilli Vanessi/”Katherine”) is thrilled to be sharing the stage, once again, with Maestro Matthew Kraemer! Previously, they have wowed audiences with concert versions of Funny Girl and Kiss Me, Kate with the Buffalo Philharmonic. Her very first Holiday Pops concert was with Marvin Hamlisch and the NSO at the Kennedy Center. Other symphony performances include the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Chattanooga Symphony, and the Toronto, Detroit, Indianapolis, Long Beach, and Modesto symphonies, as well as the Naples Philharmonic. Ms. Ragusa appeared with both the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Kansas City Symphony in concert versions of The Music Man. She won the Barrymore Award and received both Lortel and Drama League nominations for her performance in Christopher Durang’s Adrift In Macao at Primary Stages-NYC. She most recently starred in the premiere of Radio Girl at the Goodspeed Opera House. Other Broadway credits include Urinetown, Ragtime, A Class Act, Titanic, and Cyrano. For more information, please visit micheleragusa.com or on Twitter: @MRagusaNYC.
Indianapolis native Ben Davis (Fred Graham/”Petrucio”) is thrilled to be performing with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. Growing up here, Ben attended Lawrence North High School and Butler University. He most recently starred as Captain Von Trapp in a touring production of The Sound of Music. Broadway credits include The Preacher in Violet, Mr. Lindquist in A Little Night Music, Javert and Enjolras in Les Miserables, and Trevor Graydon in Thoroughly Modern Millie. He received a Tony Honor and Ovation Award for his work as Marcello in Baz Luhrmann’s Broadway production of La Boheme. Mr, Davis toured as Galahad in Spamalot, and regional shows include Pontius Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar at The MUNY, Cpt. Von Trapp in The Sound of Music at Paper Mill Playhouse, Curly in Oklahoma! at The Muny as well as Emile in South Pacific at both The Muny and Asolo Repertory Theatre. He performed opposite Kelli O’Hara and Victor Garber in Kurt Weill’s Knickerbocker Holiday at Lincoln Center (recorded Live) and opposite Ms. O’Hara in concert under the baton of Ted Sperling. He was seen in the New York City Opera/BAM production of Anna Nicole, The Opera. His TV and film credits include Papageno in The Magic Flute, 30 Rock, Numb3rs, and Miriam. Internationally, Mr. Davis starred as Fred/Petruchio in Kiss Me, Kate at London’s Royal Albert Hall as part of the BBC Proms. West Coast performances include the Hollywood Bowl as Older Patrick in Mame with Michelle Lee, and with the LA Philharmonic, both as a soloist and as a Street Singer in Bernstein’s Mass. For additional information, please visit benjaminjaydavis.com.
Performances are Saturday, May 19 at 7:30 PM and Sunday, May 20 at 3 PM – Schrott Center for the Arts. For tickets visit, https://www.icomusic.org/events/kiss-me-kate/