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The Visit

 

The Visit is playing at the Lyceum Theatre located at 149 West 45th Street. It runs one hour thirty minutes with no intermission.  It is an opened ended musical.

The musical is based on Friedrich Durrenmatt 1956 thriller.  It was originally scheduled for Broadway in 2001 with Angel Lansbury.  It was canceled when she withdraw. A subsequent 2001 production scheduled for Broadway was delayed after 9/11.  Financial issues canceled a 2003 production at the Public Theatre. It premiered at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre in 2001.  Seven years later it played at the Signature Theatre in Washington, D. C. (2008).  The 2014 Williamstown production ran from July 31-August 17.

Terrence McNally wrote the book.  He won four Tony Awards for, “Ragtime” (1998), “Master Class” (1996), “Love! Valour! Compassion”, (1995), “Kiss of the Spider Women” (1993) and was nominated for two Tony Awards for “Mothers and Sons” (2001) and “The Full Monty” (2001).  Terrence was nominated for a Pulitzer for Drama for “A Perfect Ganesh” (1994).

John Doyle is the director.  He won a Tony Award for “Sweeney Todd” (2006).

Chita Rivera has won two Tony Awards for “Kiss of the Spider Woman” (1993) and “The Rink” (1984).  Chita was nominated for seven Tony Awards for “A Dancers Life(2006), “Nine” (2003), “Jerrys Girl” (1986), “Merlin” (1983), “Bring Back Birdie” (1981) “Chicago” (1976) and “ Bye Bye Birdie” (1961). She received a Kennedy Center Honor’s Award (2002) and a Presidential Medal of Freedom (2009).

Roger Rees won a Tony Award and Olivier Award for “The Life and Adventure Nicholas Nickleby” (1982).

The townspeople come to the front of the stage staring at the audience.  They are poorly dressed.

They are thrilled that Claire Zachanassian (Chita Rivera) is come back to her home town.  She is a very very rich women.  The town is dying and they hope she will give them money, the industry and mines are gone.

Claire comes to town decked out in furs and jewels. She accompanied by her Butler Rudi (Tom Neiis) and two men Jacob Chicken (Chris Newcomer) and Louis Perch (Matthew  Deming) both with white mask faces.  Claire had six husbands, all of them very rich. Her main motive for coming home is revenge.  Her mother was a gypsy, her father Jewish.  They lived on the outside of town. At fifteen the only person to show her attention was Anton Schell (Roger Rees).  They were lovers.  When she gets pregnant he said he can’t marry her because he was going to marry the shopkeeper’s daughter Matilda (Mary Beth Pell). He will get the shop.  She said she will take him to court.  He has two of his friends testify in court that they had sex with her so the baby can’t be Anton’s.  The case is dismissed and she leaves town in disgraced.

Claire tells the town if they do what she wants she will give the town money and the people in the town too.  They are shocked. But they start changing their mind; material possessions (like yellow shoes) make their eyes light up.  

What the revenge is and what happens well you will have to see the show.

The songs tell the story.  Basically the stage is bare; trees are on the outer sides of the stage.  Some props are used.

Young Anton (John Riddle) and young Claire (Michelle Veintimilla) don’t talk but they dance, their movements tell it all.  They are terrific.

Chita Rivera does an amazing job.

The cast works well together.

This is an enjoyable musical to see.

Review by Rozanna Radakovich.

Photos by Annazor.

To read a candid interview with the cast, scroll down to the left for recent photos.  Click on recent photos for this and other shows.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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