Kiss Me, Kate is a Tony Award-winning musical with a book by Samuel and Bella Spewack and music and lyrics by Cole Porter. It won the first Tony Award for "Best Musical" in 1949.Inspired by The Taming of the Shrew, it tells the tale of two once-married, now-divorced musical theater actors, Fred Graham and Lilli Vanessi, who are performing opposite each other in the roles of Petruchio and Katharine in a Broadway-bound musical version of William Shakespeare's play. Already on poor terms, the pair begin an all-out emotional war mid-performance that threatens the production's success. The only thing keeping the show together are threats from a pair of gangsters, who have come to collect a gambling debt from the show's Lucentio, Bill Calhoun. In classic musical comedy fashion, slapstick madness ensues before everything is resolved.