A private reading of Kiss of the Spider Woman, the Tony-winning 1993 musical that features a book by Tony winner Terrence McNally and a score by John Kander and the late Fred Ebb, took place early this year. The New York Times reported on the exploration that featured six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald as Aurora/Spider Woman, Alan Cumming as Molina and Steven Pasquale as Valentin.
The reading was organized by The Visit producer Tom Kirdahy and directed by Tony winner John Tiffany (Once). McDonald has been attached to the project for several seasons and participated in earlier private readings of the musical.
When asked during a recent preview of The Visit about the status of the revival's development, McNally offered, "It's really too premature. But we'd of course love to have it up. It was just a reading. We're still at the gossip stage."
Kander, the musical's composer, was hopeful that McDonald would remain attached to the revival. "I hope so because Audra's an amazing performer. I've promised her any continent she wants if she does this," he laughed. "I hope they work it out. I don't know much about what the future holds for it."
Another Kander and Ebb musical that The Visit director John Doyle is crossing his fingers for is their short-lived 1984 show The Rink. That production, which co-starred Chita Rivera and Liza Minnelli, was the first collaboration between Kander, Ebb and McNally. The trio (and their star) reunited for Spider Woman and The Visit, with Rivera earning Tony Awards for the first two shows. She's Tony-nominated for The Visit this year. Doyle confirmed that at one point a revival had been talked about with Tony Award winner Patti LuPone in the role of Anna (originated by Rivera).
"I would love to do The Rink," Doyle said. "The Rink has all the things in it that [The Visit] has that I love. You know, broken relationships, things that went wrong in the past, trying to deal with that in the present, people who are unafraid of not being very likable... Fingers crossed The Rink one day.