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Hungry for a Kiss of the Spider Woman Revival...

EricMontreal22 Profile Photo
EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
I would obviously be down for Kylie--although she is known for not being much of a dancer (she can do basic choreography, but there's a reason she doesn't dance as much in concerts as, say, Madonna or Britney, though she also never lip synchs like they sometimes do--well in the case of Britney like she usually does). But I think Kylie could play the movie star/diva element really well, albeit it would be a less severe portrayal than Chita or (I assume from the recording) Vanessa gave.

I saw the tour with Chita when I was 13 or so in Vancouver, and it blew me away. But I admit, part of the reason was I had never seen a "mature" musical live at that point, and it just seemed so exciting to see a musical tackle those issues (by issues I of course mean the on stage defecation... :P ). My grandma took me, who was very excited because she had long loved Chita Rivera, though I admit I was a bit uncomfortable with the gay stuff watching it with her (she loved it, regardless, so the discomfort was just the fact I wasn't out).

I know some people feel like the musical didn't tackle the issues as hard as they could have (including some critics whose opinion I really respect, as well as Gaveston on here whose opinion I also respect), so I'd be curious to revisit it as an adult--especially now that I've read the novel. I do still love the score, it's in my top three K&Es with Cabaret and Zorba (Chicago being fourth).

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EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
Did anyone see the small scale revival in DC a year or two ago (I believe it was a part of Signature's K&E festival).
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SonofRobbieJ
Broadway Legend
joined:12/10/09
I think Kylie is just a darling performer. But...

It's a dual role. One is of a movie star. The other is of death. Death personified. There is NOTHING about Kylie that could even come close to capturing death. Now, Peter Pan? Let's talk.

I understand some of the criticisms of the show. I especially have sympathy for the point of view that in 'I'd Do Anything for Him,' a moment of true ambiguity (is Valentin sleeping with Molina as a manipulation or because he's actually fallen in love with him) gets flattened out. But it doesn't bother me all that much. I still think it's one of the most daring, exciting musicals ever done.
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muscle23ftl
Broadway Legend
joined:12/19/04
I think it should be either CZJ or Vanessa. All this talk about Madonna, Beyonce or Kylie is just not realistic and they are not the right people for the role, even though Beyonce is a much better singer and dancer than Chita Rivera, I am not sure if she could act the role.
"People have their opinions and that doesn't mean that their opinions are wrong or right. I just take it with a grain of salt because opinions are like as*holes, everyone has one". -Felicia Finley-
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Phyllis Rogers Stone
Broadway Legend
joined:9/16/07
I can't believe the person who suggested Bernadette Peters for this would criticize any other suggestion.
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qolbinau
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/08
Bernadette can DO ANYTHING.
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Phyllis Rogers Stone
Broadway Legend
joined:9/16/07
Bernadette as Matilda!
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devonian.t
Broadway Legend
joined:7/26/04
Ute Lemper.
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tazber
Broadway Legend
joined:5/10/05
No she can't.

That's not a criticism at all, I love Bernadette. But she's not right for the part and that has nothing to do with her talent.

As Robbie mentioned the role has to operate on two levels. She must be enticing, seductive, and mysterious as well as ominous and foreboding.
It's a fantastic part, but not every iconic Bway actress is right for it.


....but the world goes 'round
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SonofRobbieJ
Broadway Legend
joined:12/10/09
What's stunning about the role is that there is really very little 'acting'. There's a great deal of performing...but it's not Sally Bowles or Madame Rose. It's a series of specialty numbers that are glorious...but there's not some major character arc to play here. Which is why someone like Beyonce could score big time in the role. Even Vanessa Williams, at the time, wasn't particularly known for her acting. She was a pop star who trained in musical theatre at my alma mater. And she was glorious.

Ute Lemper would be faaaaaaascinating. And truly terrifying.
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EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
Did anyone here see Carol Lawrence in the role?

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tazber
Broadway Legend
joined:5/10/05
I don't know if she can dance the part, but as far as pop stars go I would love to see Fergie play it.

She was the only good thing in Nine.

She was provocative, dangerous, and tenebrous all in her one number.
....but the world goes 'round
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SonofRobbieJ
Broadway Legend
joined:12/10/09
She can just do those one-handed walk-overs throughout the course of the night and I'd be perfectly happy!
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egghumor
Broadway Legend
joined:3/9/11
All the aforementioned Pop Stars can probably handle the role, but why would they want to work that hard and be one of three leads (if the production is anywhere close to correctly balanced)?
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SonofRobbieJ
Broadway Legend
joined:12/10/09
Because it's the only female lead and a true diva role.

It's why I wondered about Zeta Jones doing Night Music. Great role...but Charlotte gets all the zingers, and the Madame Armfeldt will be a grand dame everyone adores. Here...this part is made for a pop star who can showcase their talents (singing and dancing) without having to 'act' too much.
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GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
A straight play "adaptation"? It was a play before it was a musical...

It certainly was and the straight play is much better. This discussion of which outsized diva should play Aurora in only one reason why.

There's no woman playing Aurora in the straight play. It's a two-character piece and the audience has to imagine Aurora along with Molina and Valentin. Imagine that! A play that puts the spectator in the same position as the characters!

The musical needs to be buried with Terrence McNally. I don't care whether we wait until he's dead.





Updated On: 11/8/12 at 05:43 PM
LimelightMike Profile Photo
LimelightMike
Broadway Legend
joined:6/21/06
Not to threadjack...

If you wanna talk about being disappointed with the straight play revival vs. the musical revival this season? Two words: GOLDEN BOY.
LimelightMike's 2010-2011 Theatergoing Schedule: THE PITMEN PAINTERS (10.03.10) A LIFE IN THE THEATRE (10.10.10) BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON (10.16.10) THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS (11.06.10) WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN (11.13.10) BRIEF ENCOUNTER (11.22.10) THE PEE-WEE HERMAN SHOW (11.28.10) LA BETE (12.23.10) A SMALL FIRE (01.13.11) THAT CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON (03.09.11) ARCADIA (03.16.11) BLACK TIE (03.19.11) PRISCILLA: QUEEN OF THE DESERT (03.21.11) THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST (03.26.11) BENGAL TIGER AT THE BAGHDAD ZOO (03.30.11) GHETTO KLOWN (03.31.11) HOW TO SUCCEED... (04.07.11) ANYTHING GOES (04.12.11) JERUSALEM (04.20.11) SISTER ACT (04.29.11) iHO: (05.22.11)
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actorgaedu
Stand-by
joined:5/12/03
BeBe did this role for a bit in London and Toronto before it came to NY. This was a couple years before "Chicago". I think she could do it justice again!
?Look, I'm 40, I'm single, and I work in musical theater - you do the math!?
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little_sally
Broadway Legend
joined:1/15/04
I actually love the idea of Fergie.
A little swash, a bit of buckle - you'll love it more than bread.
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GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
I understand some of the criticisms of the show. I especially have sympathy for the point of view that in 'I'd Do Anything for Him,' a moment of true ambiguity (is Valentin sleeping with Molina as a manipulation or because he's actually fallen in love with him) gets flattened out. But it doesn't bother me all that much. I still think it's one of the most daring, exciting musicals ever done.

Robbie, by the time the national tour got to LA, the men weren't sleeping together, it was just a kiss. And it was clearly manipulation by Valentin, nothing more. In the other versions of the story, including the novel and even the problematic film, each of Molina and Valentin comes to meld into the other, with each taking on much of the world view of the other. Molina gains a sense of politics; Valentin learns the value of aesthetics.

That's what offended me so. If you're a rich, white American and you don't like the leftist politics of a South American classic, then DON'T ADAPT IT FOR THE MUSICAL STAGE! And this thread discussing outsized divas only demonstrates how much of Valentin's worldview is lost in the musical. How can that not matter?

(That was a rhetorical question. Nothing written here has lessened my respect for you or Eric or anyone else.)
Updated On: 11/9/12 at 07:30 PM
CATSNYrevival
Broadway Legend
joined:3/1/04
^I didn't realize they originally staged it with the two of them sleeping together. Why did they change it?
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GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
^^^^I have no idea. Since the film had already been made, released and become a hit, I can't imagine whom they were "protecting" by sanitizing (or appearing to sanitize) the musical.

I only saw it once, so it's possible there was some allusion to sex that I missed. But it certainly wasn't obvious, as it is in the novel, play and film.

The Wikipedia synopsis is oddly coy on this point, saying only that Valentin "has ways" to convince Molina to help the political movement. (But as I said, that is the problem: in the other versions, Molina actually becomes convinced of the importance of political action; he isn't just a silly fag who will do anything for the "real" (i.e., straight) man he loves.)

In a very real way, the versions (novel, play, film) with which Puig was at some point involved dramatize gay rights movements everywhere and the way we as a culture had to combine politics with our traditional celebration of aesthetics (whether via drag, camp or whatever was fabulous) in order to fight against marginalization and for equality.

But leave it to Terrence McNally to candy-coat the worst stereotypes about gay people and then serve them back to us as dessert. (See LISBON TRAVIATA: lovelorn gay isn't merely suicidal, he's actually homicidal--just like all those 1950s films told us!)


Updated On: 11/9/12 at 08:57 PM
morosco Profile Photo
morosco
Broadway Legend
joined:7/10/04

Did anyone see the small scale revival in DC a year or two ago (I believe it was a part of Signature's K&E festival).

Saw it a couple times at signature (Natascia Diaz, Hunter Foster, and Will Chase) and each time left underwhelmed. A very tepid production. Mediocre performances (including a spectacularly amateurish performance by Steven Cupo as the Warden) all around. The set was kinda cool though (shown here). Love the show but was most disappointed with Signature's production.


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