The Rink 1984

redmustang
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The Rink 1984#1
Posted: 5/6/13 at 2:06am
Never got to see this show starring two of my favorite performers: Rivera and Minnelli. I love the score. Have read that Liza was in the show only several months due to health issues. Not sure I believe all the stories. Wondered if anyone who saw the show with Liza could talk about her performance and how she delivered my favorite song All the Children in a Row. On the OBC CD Liza sounds quite emotional and very powerful. The song is nearly six minutes long and comes very near the end of the show. If she was so ill, was she able to deliver?
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The Rink 1984#2
Posted: 5/6/13 at 2:11am
I thought it wasn't so much illness as it was drug abuse?
redmustang
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The Rink 1984#2
Posted: 5/6/13 at 2:13am
I was trying to be kind.
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choitoy
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The Rink 1984#3
Posted: 5/6/13 at 2:14am
I thought I read somewhere that she went into rehab during the show's run, and they brought in Stockard Channing to no avail.
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The Rink 1984#4
Posted: 5/6/13 at 2:32am
^ Yeah. Mary Testa talked about it briefly with Seth Rudetsky in her OBSESSED! (Playbill series) episode.
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The Rink 1984#5
Posted: 5/6/13 at 9:02am
The show, even with a few great numbers, made me squirm. Liza was made to act like a child in some scenes, and when she came out for her bow, I'll never forget the boos from the audience! I was mortified for her.
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The Rink 1984#6
Posted: 5/6/13 at 9:25am
It wasn't so bad.

http://youtu.be/pIpbnwM-93k

But I remember one night after the show, seeing Chita and Liza and Lisa arguing in Sam's...or was it still called Charlie's then...and yes, I know, that sounds like it could be a lyric from Liza's "Colored Lights" number...

Ah well, it was the 80s. Whatever Liza was on, we were all on.
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D2
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The Rink 1984#7
Posted: 5/6/13 at 9:41am
Two things I remember from the performance I saw:

Liza visibly swaying, and Chita grabbing her wrists so tightly that when she let go there was blood.

Liza lip-syncing and being consistently behind or ahead of the track.

But she also had some really powerful moments throughout, and Chita was extraordinary from beginning to end.
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bryan2
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The Rink 1984#8
Posted: 5/6/13 at 11:25am
We were all sitting waiting for the show to begin
1/2 hour later everyone in the audience started to clap (angry that the show hadnt started) ..then all of a sudden the lights go dim , about 45 minutes late, and there is Liza singing...she was realy good and I loved both her and this show showed me how GREAT CHITA was....I guess Liza showed up late and they waited rather than let the understudy go on...greatful as I was to see her they should have announced that she would be late...anyway 1 week later she left the show because of the addiction problems...but LIZA killed in this show...and it was a mediocre show ..with great stars in it I do remember she drops the F bomb (in the script) and the matinee crown all gasp.... it was funny and it was 1984 so what can you do...


Updated On: 5/6/13 at 11:25 AM
DAME
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The Rink 1984#9
Posted: 5/6/13 at 1:13pm
This is one of the theaters I worked in during my Freshman year in college. I saw most of the run of this show. It was great watching these ladies work it every night. Liza was indeed too old for the role. But it was the only way they could get backing for the show and this is why she did it. Audiences loved seeing them both on stage and I think I would have remembered ( referring to what some some other person said here) if she had gotten booed at any point. I do remember them holding curtain once .. but it was because the ladies performed in a press event in Long Island and they were late getting back. Stockard Channing was hired as Liza's replacement . She ended up taking over when Liza did indeed go into rehab. Which ended up being about 2 weeks earlier than expected. As for the lip synching.. I never noticed it.. and I don't think it happened. Stockard was awful and miscast. When Liza left the show the magic was all gone.

Oh.. and Mary Testa worked really hard... but it is hard to go on for a star in a mediocre show.





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Updated On: 5/6/13 at 01:13 PM
Brian07663NJ
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The Rink 1984#10
Posted: 5/6/13 at 1:49pm
Dame...can I come over and listen to your theatre stories as you serve milk and cookies? Wow - to have seen it many many times...

I love listening to The Rink and although it is dated at this point I still wish I could see it now.
DAME
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The Rink 1984#11
Posted: 5/6/13 at 1:53pm
There are two versions going around .. you just have to look.
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The Rink 1984#12
Posted: 5/6/13 at 2:36pm
I saw it twice, and at both performances Liza and Chita were excellent. At the second performance, I sat in the first row of the Orchestra, center section . . . with Liza only a few feet in front of me for her opening number.
bryan2
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The Rink 1984#13
Posted: 5/6/13 at 3:03pm
Thanks Dame but just to clarify the audience did not BOOO they started clapping ...the reason I remember this was because I was shocked...never have seen this or heard this in my life or since...again i dont know the reason for the delay ..but everyone assumed it was LIZA since she was the first person on the stage and all the stories going around
I was 27 years old and this was one of the thrills of my life at that time to see her...
DAME
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The Rink 1984#14
Posted: 5/6/13 at 3:08pm
Bryan;

Yes. It was not you who said that. And as far as the stories going around.. I used to read about them daily in the NY Post but never witnessed anything at the theater. Glad you had a nice thrill at the theater. Audiences LOVED seeing Liza and Chita. Magic.

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Updated On: 5/6/13 at 03:08 PM
Jon
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The Rink 1984#15
Posted: 5/6/13 at 6:45pm
My theatre did the updated version of The Rink. It eliminates the stuff about the father fighting in Korea, the hippie references, the "Where's Cambodia". It could take place in the present or at any time. "All the Children in a Row" has a completely new lyric - it's now all about Angel traveling around in search of her father. The songs "Angel's Rink and Social Center" and "Wallflower" are cut. "Colored Lights" no longer opens the show. It's done in the spot where there originally was a reprise - the end of the original Act 1 (it can now be done without intermission). The show now opens with the wrecking crew arriving at the empty rink.

Our production was very well received. We had a real mother and daughter in the lead roles.
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The Rink 1984#16
Posted: 5/6/13 at 7:00pm
My memory of the production is that it was underwhelming (and weren't we all expecting another CHICAGO?), but not because Minnelli was ill or chemically impaired.

To me, Minnelli seemed miscast. I didn't think of her as "too old" for the character, but I did think her character's musical vocabulary seemed "too old" for a young hippy. But it's entirely possible my opinion was based on my preconceptions of the performer.

Updated On: 5/6/13 at 07:00 PM
DAME
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The Rink 1984#17
Posted: 5/6/13 at 7:07pm
I don't like the way the new version sounds. Colored Lights was a great opening. When the organ started to play and the spot light would go on Liza's back as she turned to audience.. the place would go wild. The hippies being cut sounds good. Why on earth would they cut Angels Rink? I could also do without the rape plot point. It was too much of a downer.



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Updated On: 5/6/13 at 07:07 PM
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The Rink 1984#18
Posted: 5/6/13 at 7:15pm
DAME, I remember wondering what would have happened if they had brought in Joni Mitchell or Carole King or somebody to write songs for Minnelli's character--and then cast somebody who could sing believably in that style.

The "generation gap" seemed so important to the story and yet the two leading ladies seemed to be singing interchangeable songs. As much as I like "Colored Lights", it is a primary offender. I also like the humor of "The Apple Doesn't Fall Very Far From the Tree", but it served to highlight how both characters sang the same kind of music.
DAME
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The Rink 1984#19
Posted: 5/6/13 at 7:25pm
I was so young at the time that anything with these two ladies could have been up there and I would have loved it. I think part of the problem with the Angel character is that it really was not written for Liza. The show was written for Chita. And as I said before they ( sadly) could not get the backing on her name alone. Liza agreed to do it so the show would be produced. So the core of Angels character was written for a much younger, mother earth type. The creatives never succeeded in adjusting the material and sticking to a truth. What they did was bloat up the Angel character to make it a equal lead.





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Updated On: 5/6/13 at 07:25 PM
DAME
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The Rink 1984#20
Posted: 5/6/13 at 7:30pm
John Kander talks about this. I can't remember if it was in the book or in a interview he gave.
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The Rink 1984#21
Posted: 5/6/13 at 7:33pm
I think also, DAME, that Liza dearly wanted to work with her old pals, Chita and K&E again. At least, that's what COLORED LIGHTS says.

I really like the score of THE RINK, with my favorite number being "Mrs. A", which is just devastating, and Kander and Ebb really expanding on their usual type of songwriting. A lot of the material is really excellent, even Liza's last number, which Frank Rich hated.
DAME
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The Rink 1984#22
Posted: 5/6/13 at 7:39pm
Mrs A was devastating and very powerful to watch. But the show was heavy enough. And yes if you look at all the television interviews they did at the time promoting the show.. they LOVED working with each other.

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Updated On: 5/6/13 at 07:39 PM
DAME
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The Rink 1984#23
Posted: 5/6/13 at 7:51pm
The Rink  1984

I am not promoting this. But just a pic of something I found by google. In case anyone wants to see...


Not looking for trouble. Just a pic I found.

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Updated On: 5/6/13 at 07:51 PM
Leadingplayer
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The Rink 1984#24
Posted: 5/6/13 at 7:54pm
It was an ok show. Part of the problem was thought to be that Liza played a downbeat non-glamorous character and people came expecting to see her do razzle-dazzle show stoppers.