Shows K

KISS OF THE SPIDERWOMAN A Musical in 2 Acts, a Prologue and 19 Scenes. Book by Terrence McNally, based on the novel of the same name by Manuel Puig. Music by John Kander. Lyrics by Fred Ebb. Shaftesbury Theatre, London - 20 October, 1992 (390 perfs) Broadhurst Theatre Broadway 3 May, 1993 (906 perfs) THE STORY Molina a homosexual who is serving a sentence for allegedly corrupting a minor, sits in a prison cell in an unnamed Latin American country. The time is the recent past Lonely and tormented, he hears he seductive, beckoning voice of the Spider Women VaIentin, a Marxist revolutionary, is brought to the prison as a suspected terrorist. Severely beaten and unconscious, Valentin is thrown into Molina's cell. Horrified by Valentin's condition, Molina conjures up the screen goddess Aurora and escapes into one of his cinematic fantasies. While the prisoners long for freedom Valentin regains consciousness. Despite Molina's efforts to engage him in conversation, Valentin ignores Molina and rudely rejects him. Undaunted Molina flamboyantly introduces himself and tells Valentin about his expertise as a window dresser. Valentin angrily tells Molina to leave him alone. Molina tells Valentin to think of a woman in his life, that the memory will help him cope with his loneliness. Molina says he thinks of his mother. Thus encouraged, Valentin thinks of his girlfriend, Marta. The prisoners also wonder what their friends and families are doing without them. Molina teases Valentin about his girlfriend Marta. As cries of tortured prisoners echo throughout the prison, Molina tells Valentine how, as a child, he spent hours watching movies at a local cinema where his mother worked as an usherette. He confides in Valentine about his passion for movies, especially his love of the beautiful movie star Aurora. He admired every movie she made except one, where she played the Spider Woman, a figure of death. Molina believes the Spider Woman is real and he claims he has seen her in the prison. Valentin calls him a fool. Yet, escaping into these imaginary, glorious moves helps Molina cope with the cruelty and terror surrounding him. In another part of the prison, the Warden denies reports of torture in the prison. We know, however, that the accusations are true. In the midst of these tortures, Valentin tries to cope by remembering the love of his girlfriend. After additional torture, Valentin's crippled body is thrown into the cell. Molina again calls on Aurora who appears and helps him minister to Valentin's wounds. Marta also materialises. That night, during their meal, Molina tells Valentin about his fondness for a waiter named Gabriel while Valentine reminisces about his first love. Molina begins gasping with cramp. He is taken to the infirmary where he hallucinates. Molina sees his mother, wearing a movie usherette's uniform and seeks her forgiveness. She tells him she would only be ashamed if he did something cruel or uncaring. Then the Spider Woman appears and she and Molina converse. Molina recovers and is taken back to his cell. The guards bring more food to Valentin who has not eaten for three days. After he eats the food, Valentin is wracked with pain and cramp. As Molina comforts him, Valentin utters Marta's name and faints. Molina wishes he could experience the love that Valentin feels for Marta.