Friday, October 16, 2009

"Love and Love Alone"

I saw Chita Rivera in "The Visit" here in Chicago when it premiered at the Goodman in 2001.

I had just directed the Chicago premiere of Terrance McNally's "Corpus Christi" and Mr. McNally came to see our production.

...Near the end of our run, we were playing alongside a production of "Naked Boys Singing," and when Mr. McNally got to the theatre, he immediately took out his camera, raced outside and took a picture of the marquee with both shows names on it. He came inside and said, "I had to get a picture. No one back in New York will believe it."...

Happily, Mr. McNally enjoyed our production of "Corpus Christi" ("Thanks for giving my play back to me" he said to me right after the play ended) and invited me and the cast to the final dress tech run of "The Visit" at the Goodman.

And I hated it.

I vividly remember a song called "You" with lyrics that went "You, you, you. Everywhere. You, you, you." They just kept sing "You" over and over and I wanted to stick a pencil in their vocal chords to get them to stop.

Then, the whole cast had a song called "Yellow Shoes" that went something like, "Yellow shoes. Look at me wearing my yellow shoes." Again, I wanted to hurl. As we were leaving the theatre and walking past Kander & Ebb (the composer & lyricist), one of the guys in my cast, who happened to be wearing bowling shoes that day, looked at me and started belting out, "Bowling shoes! Look at me wearing my BOWLING SHOES!"

I almost killed him.

But after watching this clip and listening to Chita sing this song from "The Visit" - - a song that I honestly don't remember - - I wonder if I was wrong about this show.


Mike said...

I can totally see why you'd want to kill him. But if I was writing songs, if somebody found it memorable enough to parody, even just immediately after it, I'd love it.

That's probably why I'm not in The Theatre, but still...

Stephen said...

What a great theatre anecdote!!!
I love this story.
I saw the original production of Chicago about 15 times...& I have a great story to do a post on, & you gave me the idea!