fauxklore (fauxklore) wrote,

Kiss of the Spider Woman

I went to see Kiss of the Spider Woman at the Signature Theatre this weekend. This is the first of three shows in their Kander and Ebb celebration. (The other two are The Happy Time and The Visit.)

The Signature has a new location in Shirlington and it was a bit confusing getting there. I'd left myself extra time and, despite screwing up a turn when I got off 395, I still made it over there and found a parking spot in plenty of time to walk around Shirlington Village a bit before the show started. The store which is alleged to have a very good collection of single origin chocolates was, alas, closed for Easter, as was the library. However, the bookstore was open and a reasonable place to kill a little time. I still had enough time to look through the gallery exhibit ("Colored Lights" - several items of Kander & Ebb memorabilia) before taking my seat.

I admit that I was a bit hesitant since I generally prefer musical comedy to musical tragedy. The score is not really one I'd listen to over and over, though it does have some fine moments (e.g. the title song, the poignant "Dear One," and "The Day After That.") But I got caught up in the emotions as Molina wrestled with his fear versus his love in deciding whether or not to sacrifice himself for Valentin.

Nastascia Diaz was a very effective Aurora / Spider Woman, though the costumes and staging did not really distinguish well between the two roles. Spider Woman should be a symbol of death, while Aurora is movie glamour personified. Dressing both in black is not really enough - I had to refer to the program to completely get it.

Hunter Foster did a fine job as Molina. The really incredible performance was Will Chase's as Valentin, full of revolutionary rage. His performance of "The Day After That" was a memorable moment.

One other note I'll make is that I kind of wished I had been sitting a bit further back. I was in row E and there were times when it was hard to take in the entire width of the stage at one time. That's significant because it made it harder to watch Molina's responses to Aurora's production numbers.

I'd still go with the conventional wisdom that Cabaret and Chicago are the best of Kander & Ebb (and I have an odd fondness for Woman of the Year, which pretty much nobody else likes). But this production definitely kept my attention and the quality of the performances bodes well for the rest of the series.
Tags: theatre

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