All tagged The Visit

Gifts of Love: Holiday Wish List for Broadway Enthusiasts

Whether we want to admit it or not, the holidays are here. Since tickets to Hamilton seem like an unlikely present this Christmas or Hanukkah (unless you bought them six months ago or don’t mind waiting until 2020 to see it), the Broadway musical enthusiast will have to look elsewhere for gift ideas to put on their wish list. Fortunately, there are a great many wonderful and unique options guaranteed to make every musical theatre fan a happy camper this holiday season.

The Essentials of Cast Recordings

Those of us who love musical theatre and spend our time celebrating it's wonders know that the experience of seeing a musical is not complete until the show has been preserved in a cast recording. Indeed, a show is easily forgotten and not afforded as many future productions without a chance to share the flavor of it's music listeners who didn't get a chance to see it's original production. The companies that make cast recordings are often the heroes that give musicals their longevity, and when a show goes unrecorded, it is far less likely to have a life in regional theatres, summer stock companies and community theatres. 

Chita on Broadway - The Web the Spider Woman Wove

Chita Rivera personifies all that is great about the Broadway musical. A triple threat who has appeared in a major Broadway musical for ever decade since the 1950s, she pales all others by comparison where career longevity, professionalism, and versatility are concerned. When I was in college (1993), I was writing a paper for my musical theatre history class on the musicals of Kander and Ebb. Not so coincidentally, Ms. Rivera was starring in the Kander and Ebb musical Kiss of the Spider Woman. Since my paper required that I interview someone, I thought "Who better than the amazing Ms. Rivera to weigh in on the musical world of this composing duo, having starred in ChicagoThe Rink and the then-running Spider Woman. I wrote her a letter c/o the Broadhurst Theatre which included a list of questions and a gentle plea for her to answer them. It was a shot in the dark, but worth a try. Surprisingly (or maybe not so surprisingly), Ms. Rivera took the time to hand write all the answers to my questions. She affectionately recalled her experiences, recounted the importance of the process, and celebrated her co-stars as an opportunity to grow as a performer (perform with the best, you learn from the best). The fact that she took such interest in a young man's questions showed me that Chita was a class act. I have adored her ever since.