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A starlit spider's web.

Take the socio-political themes of novelist Manuel Puig, add the expertise stagging of director Harold Prince, the rhythms and lyrics of John Kander and Fred Ebb, and the seductive leg-kicks of Chita Rivera and you have the making of a legendary musical in the tradition of Cabaret and Evita.

The Live Entertainment Coporation of Canada (LIVENT) will produce a musical version of Kiss of the Spider Woman to be staged at Toronto's St. Lawrence Centre's Bluma Appel Theatre. Preview performances begin June 8, 1992.

Kiss of the Spider Woman tells the story of Valentin and Molina, two very different men sharing a jail cell in a contemporary Latin American prison. It is an unusual tale of friendship and love that portrays how the relationship of two men gradually evolves from hostility and distrust to mutual respect and understanding. The terror and grim uncertainty of their imprisonment is ameliorated by Molina as he weaves vivid fantasies and recounts to Valentin the glamorous and romantic world of the 1940s Hollywood movie musicals--a world inhabited by the omni-present lady of the title, who imbues the story with menace, grace, and extraordinary sensuality.

Harold Prince, winner of a record sixteen Tony Awards, whose directing credits include The Phantom of the Opera, Cabaret, Sweeney Todd, Evita, and Company, has assembled a creative team that ranks among the most distinguished in the American musical theatre. Chita Rivera (of West Side Story fame) stars in the title role contrasting scenes of torture with vivacious singing and dancing. The actress/singer/dancer has also starred in Guys and Dolls, Chicago, and Bye Bye Birdie. Brent Carver, one of Canada's leading actors, plays Molina. In addition to his dramatic roles, he has starred in the musicals Cabaret, Man of La Mancha, and Pirates of Penzance. Anthony Crivello, who plays Valentin, has also starred as Che in Evita, and Javert in Les Miserables. Kiss of the Spider Woman will have musical staging by Vincent Paterson, the acclaimed choreographer for Madonna's Blind Ambition tour and Michael Jackson's Black or White music video.

Kiss of the Spider Woman was first staged as a work-in-progress in upstate New York in May 1990 by the now defunct theatre organization, New Musicals. Although not initially a success. Prince, Kander, Ebb and scriptwriter Terrence McNally have revamped and refined the play. The Live Entertainment Corporation of Canada and its chairman, Garth Drabinsky, are giving the show its first commercial production, which is budgeted at $2.7 million.

LIVENT plans to take Kiss of the Spider Woman to London's West End immediately following the Toronto engagement.
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Title Annotation:Live Entertainment Corporation of Canada's production of 'Kiss of the Spider Woman'
Publication:Americas (English Edition)
Date:Mar 1, 1992
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