kiss-of-the-spider-woman

what kind of girl is she?- a collection of duets and trios sung by females

take me or leave me - rent // best friend - the wild party // what kind of girl is she? - [title of show] // perfect strangers - the mystery of edwin drood // impossible - cinderella // if momma was married - gypsy // i do miracles - kiss of the spider woman // statues and stories - the light in the piazza // you love who you love- bonnie and clyde // we’re not done - bring it on: the musical // candy store - heathers: the musical // caitlyn and haley - edges // fran and janie - is there life after high school? // maybe (next to normal) - next to normal // unsuspecting hearts- carrie: the musical // dogfight - dogfight // what the fuck now, lizzie?- lizzie // i will never leave you - side show // flying away - fun home //

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important retraction / note on camp

The first time I wrote about Lana Del Rey, in a column, a few months back, I said I was pleased that when she invoked the name “Lolita,” she actually seemed to be talking about something like the character in the novel, and not whatever strange mincing porny thing people use that name to refer to today.

Now, having heard her song “Lolita,” I would like to apologize and mostly retract that.

I wrote a review of her album for Vulture, findable here. I suppose the bullet points are as follows: It’s a so-so moody pop record that stumbles around a bit, and there are things about Del Rey’s attempt to pull off a persona that are campily interesting and/or poignant, and a lot of it reminds me of Showgirls. I have many more thoughts and feelings about related topic,* but I’m sure there’s more than enough to read about this artist at the moment, so I’ll save the bulk of them for another time.

Except for one thing. One novel I really adore is Manuel Puig’s Kiss of the Spider Woman. It’s about two prisoners, in Argentina, sharing a cell: Molina’s there because he’s gay, and accused of corrupting a minor; Valentin’s there because he’s a leftist revolutionary. Through most of the novel, Molina is recounting to Valentin, from memory, the plots of films he loves. He has a keen memory for the sensual, glamorous, swooning side of them.

One of the films he recounts is, essentially, a Nazi propaganda thriller, and he describes the things in it the way the film sees them — at some point, he’s describing all the beautiful, masculine German soldiers marching through Paris. This annoys Valentin, who challenges him on it. And Molina’s answer, as I remember it, is to just let the issue pass for a moment, and appreciate the type of beauty that this film, right or wrong, is trying to offer at that moment.

And that issue, the thing that’s contested between them at that moment, has more to do with “camp” than laughing at things because you think they’re bad — to me, camp is always about seeing some overblown proposition of what beauty is, and knowing that the fundamentals behind it, the belief system it grew out of, is defunct or rotten or collapsed. It’s like a touchingly grand expression of a belief that has no worthwhile purchase on the world.

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killer women - badass ladies (and murderesses) of musical theatre

ten little indians - bloody bloody andrew jackson // tiger, tiger - the apple tree // helena’s confession - the mystery of edwin drood // spread a little sunshine - pippin // dead girl walking - heathers: the musical // kesa - see what i wanna see // pulled - the addams family // cell block tango - chicago // bitch / slut / liar / whore - the toxic avenger // dead girl walking (reprise) - heathers: the musical // worst pies in london - sweeney todd: the demon barber of fleet street // kiss of the spider woman - kiss of the spider woman // rosa’s confession - the mystery of edwin drood // your fault/last midnight - into the woods // the ballad of sara berry - 35mm: a musical exhibition

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TODAY IN THEATRE HISTORY: In 1993, John Kander, Fred Ebb and Terrence McNally work their magic on Kiss of the Spider Woman, based on Manuel Puig’s novel about two men confined in a prison cell. Harold Prince directs Chita Rivera, Brent Carver and Anthony Crivello in the production that lasts 906 performances at the Broadhurst Theatre. It will go on to win seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical

For more on KIss of the Spider Woman, including a look inside the opening night Playbill, visit PlaybillVault.com.

time stood still - songs about time, countdowns, moments, and snapshots

stop time - 35mm: a musical exhibition // another day - rent // time stood still - women on the verge of a nervous breakdown // coffee’s on - murder ballad // here right now - ghost the musical // this time - now.here.this. // the world inside a frame - the bridges of madison county // countdown - the burnt part boys // 911! emergency! - bare: a pop opera // it’s been a year - lift // ten minutes ago - cinderella // suspended in time - xanadu // 30/90 - tick, tick… boom! // it won’t be long now - in the heights // time - a new brain // time and music - a new brain // the day after that - kiss of the spider woman // when it ends - the wild party // no time at all - pippin // say it to me now - once // when the sun goes down - in the heights // just another day - next to normal // one second and a million miles - the bridges of madison county

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