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Posts tagged ‘Chita Rivera’

Roger Rees, a Great Actor & a Great, Out Gay Man Passes

Roger Rees 1I’m shocked and saddened to report the passing of the great British actor, Roger Rees. He was also a great out gay man. MAY 5, 1944 – JULY 10, 2015

I just saw him only recently on Broadway in “The Visit” and he was playing the man Chita Rivera’s Claire Zachanassian, the richest woman in the world had come back to their hometown in the German/Swiss Alps to kill. The plot is she buys the townspeople’s co-operation to kill him, because he rejected her years ago when they were both young and in love.

Rees made that role believable and you felt for his plight. Grizzled and worn, he was nowhere near the young, handsome Nicholas Nickleby, which is where I first saw him on Broadway)see above^). You worried about his frail character’s health in “The Visit” He seemed like a ghost already. So I was not surprised when I heard that he had left the show even before its’ precipitous closing right after the Tonys. And now, he’s suddenly gone.

He was dazzling as the young Nickleby, the absolute paragon of a Dickens hero.

I remember so well, Ian McKellen, now Sir Ian, telling me in the cafe of  the Circle, a Fringe Theater stronghold in  London’s South bank area, in the ’70s. He said, “I’ve just seen one of the most wonderful plays I’ve ever seen at the Royal Shakespeare Company!” I asked him what it was. And he said “Nicholas Nickleby!” and I could hardly believe him. An unwieldy, secondary Dickens novel turned successfully into a stage play? I didn’t see it, although the critics and the crowds were raving.I didn’t see it until it came to Broadway and I myself has also moved back to America, but yes, it was true.

“Nicholas Nickleby” with a bare stage and only the costumed actors playing everything, including a stage-coach, was absolutely what McKellen said it was. And Roger was its’ handsome star. Rees had a very rich, varied career ever since that memorable launch.

I’ve followed his career with interest ever since. And was very proud of him when he came out as a gay man.

My sincere condolences to his surviving partner, friends and family.

 

First Tony Casualty “The Visit to Close

Chita 2Just shows you what a blood sport Broadway and the TONYs are. You don’t win any TONYs even if you ARE Chita Rivera and written by Kander and Ebb, you close prematurely. Read it and weep.

KANDER & EBB’S FINAL MUSICAL

“THE VISIT”

STARRING CHITA RIVERA

 

WILL PLAY FINAL PERFORMANCE

SUNDAY, JUNE 14TH

 

 

New York (June 8, 2015) – Producers announced today that The Visit starring Chita Rivera will play its final performance on Sunday, June 14th (3 PM).  Previews began on March 26th and opening night was April 23, 2015.  The Visit is at the Lyceum Theatre   (149 West 45th Street).

 

The Visit was nominated for 5 Tony Award® nominations including Best Musical.  It is the final collaboration of John Kander (music) and Fred Ebb (lyrics). Book is by Terrence McNally and it is directed by John Doyle with choreography by Graciela Daniele.

 

Speaking on behalf of the production, lead producer Tom Kirdahy  said “The Visit has created a sensation on Broadway and generated interest in productions around the world.  We are eager for the release of the original recording of our CD and look forward to future productions across the globe.  It has been our great privilege to present the legendary Chita Rivera in the final Kander and Ebb musical.  This has been one for the history books”.

 

The cast is led by Tony Award® winner and 2015 nominee Chita Rivera as Claire Zachanassian.  Ms. Rivera received the 2015 Drama League Award for Outstanding Performance of the Year for her role.  The Broadway cast also features Tom Nelis as Anton Schell,  George Abud as Karl, Jason Danieley as Frederich Kuhn, Matthew Deming as Louis Perch, Diana Dimarzio as Annie Dummermut,  David Garrison as Peter Dummermut, Rick Holmes as Father Josef, Ken Krugman as Rudi, Chris Newcomer as Jacob Chicken, Mary Beth Peil as Matilde Schell, Aaron Ramey as Otto Hahnke, Elena Shadow as Ottilie, Timothy Shew as Hans Nusselin, with John Riddle and Michelle Veintimilla.

 

Final performances are Tuesday , Wednesday and Thursday at 7 pm.  Friday and Saturday at 8 pm with matinees on Saturday at 2 pm and Sunday at 3 pm. Tickets can be purchased at Telecharge.com (212 239-6200).

 

Chita Rivera Classy as Ever in “The Visit” segment

The VisitBway Legend Chita Rivera classes up the evening with a very well-chosen series of snippets from “The Visit.” 83 years young, Rivera sang and yes, even danced, well,moved very well, to the music from Kander & Ebb’s last musical. Touching.

“Curious Case” won just about everything in sight, as I predicted.

And “Skylight” just won Best Revival of Play! Good to see Producer Scott Rudin accepting, though. This was a surprise! Rudin gave a VERY good speech, noting that this was the first time a David Hare play ever won a Tony. I guess a lot of people liked “Skylight” I didn’t so much. But Carey Mulligan was terrific. Another MCP play. Ugh. I’m so sick of the Older Man- Much Younger Woman Plot! It’s been done to DEATH! Enough is Enough!

 

Roger Rees to Leave Bway’s “The Visit”

Roger Rees

ROGER REES

ON LEAVE FROM BROADWAY MUSICAL

“THE VISIT”

 

TOM NELIS

STEPS INTO THE ROLE OF ANTON SCHELL

OPPOSITE CHITA RIVERA AS CLAIRE ZACHANASSIAN

 

New York (May 29, 2015) – Producers announced today Roger Rees has taken a leave from his starring role in the Broadway musical The Visit at the Lyceum Theatre   (149 West 45th Street).

 

Roger Rees is undergoing a treatment for a medical condition and while the prognosis is bright, he’s currently unable to perform in the show. He’ll be back onstage as soon as he can and we can’t wait to welcome him back”,   said producer Tom Kirdahy.

 

Tom Nelis  has stepped into the role of Anton Schell during this time.  

 

The Visit has been nominated for 5 2015 Tony Awards® including Best Musical.  The cast is led by Tony Award® nominee Chita Rivera as Claire Zachanassian.  The Broadway cast also features Tom Nelis as Anton Schell,  George Abud as Karl, Jason Danieley as Frederich Kuhn, Matthew Deming as Louis Perch, Diana Dimarzio as Annie Dummermut,  David Garrison as Peter Dummermut, Rick Holmesas Father Josef, Ken Krugman as Rudi, Chris Newcomer as Jacob Chicken, Mary Beth Peil as Matilde Schell, Aaron Ramey as Otto Hahnke, Elena Shadow as Ottilie, Timothy Shew as Hans Nusselin, withJohn Riddle and Michelle Veintimilla.

 

Final Casting of Chita Rivera’s “The Visit” Announced, Kander & Ebb’s last musical

Visit 1

ADDITIONAL BROADWAY CASTING ANNOUNCED FOR

 

KANDER AND EBB’S

FINAL MUSICAL

“T H E   V I S I T”

 

STARRING

C H I T A   R I V E R A

AND

R O G E R   R E E S

 

New York (January 30, 2015) – Additional Broadway casting was announced today for the highly anticipated musical,The Visit, soon to open on Broadway. The Visit will begin performances at the Lyceum Theatre (149 West 45thStreet) on Thursday, March 26 with an Opening Night set for Thursday, April 23. General on sale will begin on January 31, 2015.

 

Joining the previously announced Tony Award® Winners Chita Rivera and Roger Rees, will be Jason Danieley,Matthew Deming, Diana Dimarzio, David Garrison, Rick Holmes, Tom Nelis, Chris Newcomer, Aaron Ramey,Timothy Shew, and Michelle Veintimilla.

 

Based on the satirical play by Friedrich Dürrenmatt as adapted by Maurice Valency, The Visit features music and lyrics by the Tony Award® winning team John Kander & Fred Ebb, book by four-time Tony Award® winning playwright Terrence McNally. It will open on Broadway this spring, starring two-time Tony Award® winning Broadway legend Chita Rivera and Tony Award® winner Roger Rees.  Helmed by Tony Award® winning director John Doyleand choreographed by Tony Award® nominee Graciela Daniele. Tickets will be available on Telecharge.combeginning January 31.

 

In her juiciest role yet, Chita Rivera is Claire Zachannassian, the world’s wealthiest woman, who returns home to Anton (Roger Rees) who captured her heart then shattered her dreams. What she does next shocks the town and makes for the most thrilling and intriguing musical in years.   From the team that brought you “Cabaret”, “Chicago”, “Kiss of the Spider Woman”, this tale of romance, seduction and betrayal proves that revenge is the best revenge.

 

 

 

 

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http://www.TheVisitMusical.com

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