All tagged The Rink

Video Binge: Chita Rivera — Lifetime Achievement in Spades

Chita Rivera is receiving a Lifetime Achievement Tony Award at this year’s ceremony, and I simply cannot think of any performer who now, or ever, has deserved it more. With all due respect to any performer who carves out an enduring career in the theatre, no other actress has demonstrated such longevity, durability, and talent in this business. Few others have been quite as beloved.

Let us consider for a moment that Ms. Rivera has starred in a Broadway musical every decade since the 1950s, often originating roles and giving them her own distinctive flair. She is also a powerhouse triple threat: singing, acting, and most impressively, dancing, through originating such roles such as Anita in West Side Story, Rosie in Bye Bye Birdie, and Velma Kelly in Chicago

Was That Broadway Musical REALLY Awful?

Have you ever picked up a Broadway cast recording that you’d only vaguely heard of (or had never heard of), listened to it and said “This score is so good! Why isn’t this show being performed all the time?”. Just because a Broadway show has problems, it doesn’t always mean that the score is bad. In fact, many flop or troubled musicals have superior scores that will make you keep wondering “Was that musical AWFUL or WONDERFUL?”. Here are nine cast albums that will keep you wondering why that musical wasn’t a bigger hit.

Broadway's Best "I Am" Songs

What is an "I Am" song, you might ask? Many people also know it as the "I Want" song, a song that comes early in the first act of a musical and that establishes our catalyst's point of view and sometimes their goal. The term "I Want" is not one I feel truly encapsulates what this song is and how it's placement in the musical affects the story to come. I Am", which used to be how these songs were identified by scholars, can include "I Want", but not vice versa. What you "want" is a subcategory of who you "are". Not every song that introduces a catalyst tells us what they want, but it most-definitely tells us who they are. So I choose the older term of "I Am" because I find it all-encompassing. I'm not trying to be difficult here, I simply prefer "I Am" because it better explains what the song achieves, especially to those just learning about musical theatre structure. But all semantics aside, some of the most-memorable and most impactful musical theatre songs are the "I Am" song and today's blog is a celebration of some of the best. 
 

Liza, Chita and The Rink

In 1983, a musical prepared to open on Broadway that would star two of Broadway’s most-beloved and enduring talents: one a Tony-nominated (several times over) triple-threat known particularly for her electric dancing prowess, the other the daughter of Hollywood royalty (Judy Garland) who had carved her own exciting niche in entertainment outside of her mother’s shadow, having won an Academy Award and two Tony Awards. They were, of course, Chita Rivera and Liza Minnelli, respectively. Together they would appear in the next Broadway musical by composers Kander and Ebb who had created scores for gritty musicals such as Cabaret and Chicago. Writing the original story was playwright Albert Innaurato, best-known for the comedic family-drama Gemini. Direction was to be by Arthur Laurents who had directed, among many other things, the original Gypsy. The musical that was shaping up to be the exciting event of the season was The Rink.