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Spider Woman

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ENTERTAINMENT
July 13, 2001 | By Desmond Ryan INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
William Hurt had heavyweight competition for the part of Molina, the gay window dresser in Hector Babenco's Kiss of the Spider Woman, that was to bring him the Oscar for best actor. Burt Lancaster, whose extraordinary twilight was so enriched by the variety and challenge of the parts he took, was initially cast. But he had to bow out because of heart surgery. Then Raul Julia initially wanted to play Molina, but agreed to portray Valentin, the political radical. The film, which deserves its good reputation, begins a very welcome theatrical run today.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 23, 1987 | By MARY FLANNERY, Daily News Staff Writer
"Kiss of the Spider Woman" with Bob Ari and Paul J. Bernardo at Second Space Theatre of the Society Hill Playhouse, 507 S. Eighth St. Written by Manuel Puig and translated for the stage by Allan Baker. Directed by Randal Hoey, set and lighting by Michael J. Hotopp. Through May 10. Certainly nothing could be more starkly real than a cement prison cell in Argentina. But that crude cell serves as the setting for the powerful emotions and conflicting illusions of "Kiss of the Spider Woman.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 27, 2006 | By Howard Shapiro INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The water sporadically boils for tea in the jail cell where Molina and Valentin spend their days and nights in desperate isolation, but that's not all that percolates. In the late Manuel Puig's masterful Kiss of the Spider Woman, the two men fall into a psychic dance of escape, dependency and pragmatism, played out with clarity and style in the current interpretation by Interact Theatre Company. Interact's production, which opened Wednesday at the Adrienne in Center City, is fueled by the energies of two fine actors who make the piece their own. The versatile Frank X plays Molina, the gay man whose dalliance with a minor has landed him in jail, and who whiles away the nighttime hours by reciting and embellishing the plot of a movie that may or may not exist.
NEWS
November 17, 1988 | By William B. Collins, Inquirer Theater Critic
Kiss of the Spider Woman, which created something of a sensation as a movie and exists as a novel, has had another career as a play. The reason is evident in the engrossing Yale Repertory Theater production that opened a short run last night at the Annenberg Center's Zellerbach Theater. Manuel Puig's play was done not long ago in a tiny performing space at the Society Hill Playhouse. By now, just about everyone knows the situation: Two men sharing a prison cell form a bond of friendship and dependency, as men will in such circumstances.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 4, 1993 | By Clifford A. Ridley, INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
It takes almost a full act for Kiss of the Spider Woman to get around to re-creating a scene from a movie. Enacted against a photographic projection of a lush tropical garden, the movie turns out to be a musical of the Carmen Miranda stripe, with Chita Rivera breaking free of a huge birdcage to shake a tailful of yellow plumes at a clutch of bare-chested island boys. It's a tolerable bit of nonsense, and it materializes just in time to rescue Kiss of the Spider Woman from a seemingly terminal case of the droops.
NEWS
May 4, 1993 | by Nels Nelson, Daily News Theater Critic
Manuel Puig's novel, "Kiss of the Spider Woman," last night entered its fourth incarnation. Its previous lives were book, play and movie. This time it's a Broadway musical. It has been a three-year gestation period for the musical conception. The first rough version went on public view in 1990 at Purchase, N.Y., as part of an ill-starred project to develop new musicals away from the madding pressures of Manhattan. That project, alas, ran out of money all too quickly, and "Kiss" kicked around until a Canadian entrepreneur produced it in Toronto, and then in London, where it won a major award for best musical.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 8, 1995 | By Douglas J. Keating, INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
Kiss of the Spider Woman, the musical that opened last night at the Merriam Theater, is such a spectacular piece of showmanship that it seems querulous to suggest that it is not entirely successful as a piece of musical theater. In fact, its primary failing stems from the stunning theatricality that propelled the musical to five Tony Awards and a long run on Broadway. It is impressive, but it's also at odds with - and tends to overwhelm - the intimate, human story at the heart of the musical.
NEWS
September 5, 1995 | by Nels Nelson, Daily News Staff Writer
Welcome to Theater Season 1995-96! Rarely has the local season sprung so quickly after Labor Day, but here we are at the starting blocks with a full- blown road version of a celebrated Broadway musical, previewing tomorrow, opening Wednesday and running through Sept. 17 at the Merriam. "Kiss of the Spider Woman," the musicalization of the oft-told Manuel Puig story centered in a banana republic jailhouse and the imaginations of its characters, gets the full treatment: Harold Prince direction, Terrence McNally book, John Kander music, Fred Ebb lyrics, Chita Rivera excitement.
NEWS
October 23, 2011 | By Lisa Scottoline, Inquirer Columnist
It's that time of year, when spiders beat a path to my door. I know. Still got it. As soon I open my front door, big wolf spiders come from God-knows-where to run inside my house. Of course I can't bring myself to kill them. Spiders are good bugs, even if they're scary and creepy, so I turn a glass upside-down over them, slide a paper underneath, then flip the entire assembly right-side up and throw the spider back outside. But lately, I'm finding problems with my method.
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ENTERTAINMENT
February 27, 2012 | BY MOLLY EICHEL, Daily News Staff Writer
ATTENDEES OF PTC@Play , be forewarned: Michael Hollinger will be watching you. Don't worry, the local playwright isn't stalking you (not that we know of, anyway). Instead, he's one of four playwrights who will get the opportunity to read their new works at the PTC@Play Festival, a two-week celebration of new theater works at the Philadelphia Theatre Company. The festival also includes a "reading" (or should we say singing?) of a musical, a night of short plays by Philadelphians, and Philly Reality, two days of performances by five area high schools.
NEWS
October 23, 2011 | By Lisa Scottoline, Inquirer Columnist
It's that time of year, when spiders beat a path to my door. I know. Still got it. As soon I open my front door, big wolf spiders come from God-knows-where to run inside my house. Of course I can't bring myself to kill them. Spiders are good bugs, even if they're scary and creepy, so I turn a glass upside-down over them, slide a paper underneath, then flip the entire assembly right-side up and throw the spider back outside. But lately, I'm finding problems with my method.
NEWS
September 30, 2008 | By Toby Zinman FOR THE INQUIRER
The World Goes 'Round is a revue of John Kander and Fred Ebb songs plucked from many of the famous shows they wrote together - Cabaret, Chicago, Kiss of the Spider Woman - as well as the not-so-famous shows they wrote together: 70, Girls, 70; The Rink; and The Happy Time. Daniel Kutner, who directed the Prince Music Theater production that opened Friday, manages to take this collection of sophisticated songs, filled with clever, ironical lyrics, and turn it into a suburban PTA talent show.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 27, 2006 | By Howard Shapiro INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The water sporadically boils for tea in the jail cell where Molina and Valentin spend their days and nights in desperate isolation, but that's not all that percolates. In the late Manuel Puig's masterful Kiss of the Spider Woman, the two men fall into a psychic dance of escape, dependency and pragmatism, played out with clarity and style in the current interpretation by Interact Theatre Company. Interact's production, which opened Wednesday at the Adrienne in Center City, is fueled by the energies of two fine actors who make the piece their own. The versatile Frank X plays Molina, the gay man whose dalliance with a minor has landed him in jail, and who whiles away the nighttime hours by reciting and embellishing the plot of a movie that may or may not exist.
NEWS
May 11, 2006 | By Toby Zinman FOR THE INQUIRER
'It's all talk until it's legal," Terrence McNally said recently about same-sex marriage. "It's the final civil right. " McNally takes up the issue in his new play, Some Men, which will have its world premiere next week at Philadelphia Theatre Company. His Tony-winning drama about Maria Callas, Master Class, also premiered at PTC, and it was partly on the strength of that experience that the theater company offered and McNally accepted this new invitation. A strong presence in American theater for more than 40 years, McNally is prolific and varied.
NEWS
December 13, 2005 | By Howard Shapiro INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
For Chita Rivera, age is merely a number. It's clear when she performs in the new, breezy Broadway celebration of herself and her craft that she's fresh as ever. Rivera consumes the house with 72 years of accumulated experience. In a black top, black net skirt and high heels, she's classic Rivera, in great form and looking swell. Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life is her story. Stage floorboards are her natural habitat. She embodies musical Broadway when she kicks, shimmies and glides across them, narrating the highs and lows of her career and singing all the while with her distinctive clarity.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 13, 2001 | By Desmond Ryan INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
William Hurt had heavyweight competition for the part of Molina, the gay window dresser in Hector Babenco's Kiss of the Spider Woman, that was to bring him the Oscar for best actor. Burt Lancaster, whose extraordinary twilight was so enriched by the variety and challenge of the parts he took, was initially cast. But he had to bow out because of heart surgery. Then Raul Julia initially wanted to play Molina, but agreed to portray Valentin, the political radical. The film, which deserves its good reputation, begins a very welcome theatrical run today.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 13, 1998 | By Douglas J. Keating, INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
The first thing Chita Rivera wants to talk about is a long-gone South Broad Street restaurant. "I keep looking for the Harvey House," says the Broadway musical performer, who has been coming to Philadelphia for more than four decades with pre- and post-Broadway tours. "We shed more tears in the Harvey House. That's where I would go for my hot fudge sundaes - which I only ate when I was depressed. When a scene was taken away or we got a bad review, I'd eat a hot fudge sundae to make myself feel better.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 6, 1998 | By Clifford A. Ridley, INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
"I've been in this business for a l-o-o-ng, l-o-o-ng time," Chita Rivera confides cheerily in her retrospective show, Chita & All That Jazz. "And I think, for a hundred and five, I look fabulous. " Indeed she does. At the moment of this admission (which, for the record, overstates her actual age by just over 40 years), she's wearing a little black dress, designed to show off a still terrific pair of gams, and preparing to wigwag the pelvic semaphores of that quintessential come-hither song, "Hey, Big Spender.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 26, 1997 | By Tom Infield, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Jan. 17 is a Saturday for ball-hopping - and for raising money for good causes. The seventh annual Singles Charity Ball, a benefit for the Breast Health Institute of Philadelphia, offers dancing around the dinosaurs at the Academy of Natural Sciences, plus food, prizes, entertainment - and, of course, the chance to meet and greet. Guests are invited to attend in jeans and sneakers. The hours are from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 at the door. Phone: 215-830-0587.
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