Song:Brush Up Your Shakespeare
Album:Kiss Me, Kate: The New Broadway Cast Recording
Brush Up Your Shakespeare is a song from the musical Kiss Me, Kate that is used as comedy relief to set you up for the ending. Character actors not known for singing usually perform it. In the 1953 film, Brush Up Your Shakespeare is performed by Keenan Wynn and James Whitmore. In this 1999 Broadway revival, it's performed by Lee Wilkof and Michael Mulheren. This successful revival won several Tony Awards and Wilkof and Mulheren were among those who got nominations. I would describe them as very versatile character actors. Wilkof was born June 25, 1951 in Canton, OH. His first big role was as Seymour in the 1982 off-Broadway musical Little Shop Of Horrors. Since then he has appeared in all kinds of Broadway revivals like Sweet Charity, Kiss Me, Kate and most recently Breakfast At Tiffany's. He has done film and TV. His best known role was as DA Nixon in the TV series Ally McBeal. Mulheren is from Middletown, NJ. He started out off-Broadway in the 80s in The Fantasticks. He made his Broadway debut in On The Waterfront in 1995. He also appeared in Kiss Me, Kate, The Boy From Oz, La Cage Aux Folles and Spiderman: Turn Out The Dark. Most of his TV work has been guest shots though he is a regular on the WGN America series Salem. Neither guys would normally seek the spotlight. But those are the kind of actors who perform Brush Up Your Shaekespeare. And they got Tony nominations. Now get back to work. Here's Lee Wilkof and Michael Mulheren performing Brush Up Your Shakespeare on the 2000 Tony Awards broadcast.