The blazing theatricality that makes Kiss of the Spider Woman a fabulous musical is all about fantasy, escape. Of course, the harsh reality faced by Molina and Valentin locked in that cell is that there is no escape. Molina may not think of himself as being brave, he may see himself as a sissy — Valentin certainly does — but the audience comes to see Molina as a tremendous hero. Even in the beginning, he dares to be himself. The fact that he has no other choice only makes the stakes that much higher. He dares to care for another person in a dark and lonely place, and he dares to love a man who is not only straight, but hates him. And in the end, he gives it all for that man and dies free.
Holed up in a seedy motel on the edge of the Mojave Desert, two former lovers unpack the deep secrets and dark desires of their tangled relationship, passionately tearing each other apart. Led by director Daniel Aukin (Back Back Back at MTC, 4,000 Miles), Tony winner Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur at MTC, Born Yesterday) and Sam Rockwell (A Behanding in Spokane, The Way Way Back) bring an explosive intensity to Sam Shepard’s (Buried Child, True West) landmark myth of the new Wild West.