Broadway Vets Reunite to Join Chita Rivera and Roger Rees in Broadway's The Visit

News   Broadway Vets Reunite to Join Chita Rivera and Roger Rees in Broadway's The Visit
Additional casting has been announced for the Broadway premiere of the Kander and Ebb musical The Visit, starring Chita Rivera and Roger Rees. Cast members from last summer's Williamstown Theatre Festival run, including Jason Danieley, David Garrison and Timothy Shew will return.

Chita Rivera and Roger Rees
Chita Rivera and Roger Rees Photo by Bruce Glikas

Tony Award winner John Doyle (Sweeney Todd, Company) was enlisted to bring a fresh approach to the musical, which debuted in a 100-minute, intermissionless version last summer at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Doyle returns for the Broadway production alongside Tony Award nominee Graciela Daniele as choreographer.

The Visit begins previews March 26 toward an April 23 opening night at the Lyceum Theatre.

Based on Friedrich Dürrenmatt's 1956 play, The Visit has music by John Kander, lyrics by the late Fred Ebb and a book by Tony Award winner Terrence McNally

Rivera originated the role of Claire Zachanassian when The Visit had its debut in September 2001 at Chicago's Goodman Theatre and later repeated her work at the Signature Theatre in 2008 and at Williamstown.

She will be reunited on Broadway with her Williamstown co-star Roger Rees, who will again play Anton Schell. Also returning from the Williamstown premiere are Jason Danieley (Curtains, Next to Normal), Matthew Deming, Diana DiMarzio (Sweeney Todd), David Garrison (Titanic), Rick Holmes (Spamalot), Tom Nelis (Passion), Chris Newcomer (Chicago), Aaron Ramey (Young Frankenstein, Curtains), Timothy Shew (Evita, Les Misérables) and Michelle Veintimilla. It has not been announced who will succeed Tony Award nominee Judy Kuhn for the Broadway production. Kuhn, who was part of the Williamstown run, will return to Broadway this spring in another new musical, Fun Home.

The production marks the third collaboration for Kander and Ebb, McNally and Rivera. The artists previously worked together on The Rink and Kiss of the Spider Woman, both of which led Rivera to Tony Award wins for her performances.

"In The Visit, Chita Rivera shows the world what becomes a legend most," Kirdahy said in a statement. "Kander and Ebb's final musical is a masterwork. Fascinating, visceral and haunting, The Visit entertains and challenges in ways that can only be described as thrilling. We cannot wait for The Visit to visit Broadway."

Read reviews of the Williamstown engagement here here.

Here's how the musical is billed: "Based on the satirical play by Friedrich Dürrenmatt as adapted by Maurice Valency, The Visit is about greed, love, and one woman’s carefully plotted revenge. The oft-widowed Claire Zachanassian (Rivera), richest woman in the world, returns to the hardship-stricken town of her birth. The locals pray that her wealth will bring them a new lease on life, but her arrival carries a dreadful price. Rees co-stars as Anton Schell, the man who scorned Claire years ago. Sardonic and morally complex, The Visit asks 'What can your heart afford?'"

The Williamstown design team included Tony-winning scenic designer Scott Pask, Tony-winning costume designer Ann Hould-Ward, Tony-winning orchestrator Larry Hochman and Tony Honoree for Excellence Paul Huntley (hair and wig design). They are joined by Tony nominee Japhy Weideman (lighting design), Tony nominee Dan Moses Schreier (sound design), Angelina Avallone (make up design) and veteran musical director/supervisor David Loud

Additional casting and creative team members will be announced at a later date. It is expected that much of the Williamstown creative team will return.

The Broadway run is produced by Tom Kirdahy, Tom Smedes, Hugh Hayes, Peter Stern, Judith Ann Abrams, Hunter Arnold, Carl Daikeler, Ken Davenport, Rich Affannato, Gabrielle Palitz, in association with Williamstown Theatre Festival.

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