15 February, 2010

Zorba: Snatches & Snippets

I will now tell the remaining parts of the Zorba experience in succinct snippet, snatches and quotations:

* * *

Leveaux on 'The Widow':

"The Widow makes Carmen look like a bad soap opera..."

Leveaux on the trajectory of the piece:

"The trajectory of Zorba is THAT--[finger swooshes upward]


[fingers swooshes downward]
-- THAT is the trajectory of Burt Bacharach..."

Leveaux on staging Chita:

"NO music before Chita Rivera is center stage-- it's a BASIC. RULE."

Leveaux’s Henry V speech before the reading:

"Oftentimes we sit in the slow dim of the light of a quiet bit of Chopin playing in the distance and slowly cross the bridge from our ordinary lives to something... remarkably similar..." his eyes curl at the sides like the sides of his mouth set in an almost imperceptible smirk, "but sometimes; sometimes
we are grabbed by the throat and transported to a totally different world..."

* * *

John Kander after our first proper run of “Why Can’t I Speak?”:

"That was beautiful"
“…Thank you so much…”
“You write these things, you never know if you’ll hear them they way you hear them in your mind. And it is nice when you do. Thank you…”

* * *

[The audience laughs, Joe Stein smiles]

This is the first time I've ever been moved by words in a scene in the presence of the man who wrote them. Yes. The man who wrote those words is present in the actual room. He is RIGHT. THERE. He also wrote my beloved Hodel. "Papa, God alone knows when we shall see each other again" is his line. I'm dumbfounded. I am walking with Giants.

* * *

“Ladies and gentlemen Miss Chita Rivera!
[Not at all unlike Gene Wilder in Willy Wonka, she limps feebly and the audience roars...]

* * *

A series of Chita comments so unbelievable one can hardly fathom the significance of such a person...

"When I was doing Spiderwoman..."
     "That is what we found with Birdie!"
          "Just like in West Side…"
               "When I won my first Tony..."
                     "When I won my third Tony..."

and when my mother sent me a text before the run that said "Remember Al: FACE FRONT. DIE SLOW." Her response was:

"Good advice."

* * *

[after our first run-through]

Antonio: I need a cigaretto.
Chita: I need a DRINK.


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