John Kander Remarks On THE VISIT In Williamstown
Multi-award-winning stage and screen composer John Kander discusses the latest edition of his long-aborning musical adaptation of the classic Friedrich Dürrenmatt play THE VISIT as part of a new interview.
Commenting on the new Williamstown Theatre Festival production of the piece starring Chita Rivera and how it differs from previous iterations of the property, Kander shares, "This is a revised version of what was seen in Chicago and DC; it's pared down to one act and moves inexorably to the conclusion. The first two productions were directed by Frank Galati, and this one is not. John Doyle has a totally different vision and his concept has really helped us. It's a bit more expressionistic, it's more stylized, and is a tougher version of what we had before. What it looks like is totally different; when you see it, you'll immediately notice the difference in the approach. The orchestrations are new because we have fewer musicians, but it became an opportunity for orchestrator Larry Hochman to create a different sound. The old production was wonderful, I thought, and this is equally if not more so."
Sharing his thoughts on the leading lady, Kander also says, "It also has a performance by Chita Rivera that I really want everybody to see. She's had different leading men, and the personality of this actor (Roger Rees) has influenced the performance she's giving here in Williamstown."
Additionally, Kander discusses his original inspiration for the piece, stating, "I've been asked that before and I can't answer it, but Freddie and I were enormously attracted. It's full of conflict, it's full of passion, and the two leading characters spoke to us...and wanted to sing. I can't tell you exactly what makes a character feel musical, but it just does. I think we were truly inspired by the original play itself; it's emotionally complex in a way that was intellectually stimulating when we were working. We wrote a lot of music, and then pared away a lot."
Check out the original article on the matter here.