This week, we got the opportunity to see Broadway legend Chita Rivera star in “The Visit.”
The Visit Chita Rivera Review
“The Visit” is a 90 minute, one-act musical by Kander and Ebb, the team behind “Cabaret” and “Chicago.” It tells the story of the richest woman in the world, Claire Zachanassian, played by Rivera, who returns to the town she left years ago. Since leaving, the town has become severely poverty-stricken. Rivera offers to save the town financially, but only in exchange for revenge on a man who hurt her years ago.
The biggest thing to love about the show was most certainly Rivera. She is a Broadway superstar who has shown her staying power, and at 83 years old, she commanded the attention of everyone in the audience that night. She brought perfect characterization to her role and showed off a voice that has aged gracefully.
In line with her being the best part of the show, two of Rivera’s numbers were the standout songs of the show- namely “I Walk Away” and “Love and Love Alone.”
The rest of the cast on stage with Rivera was extremely talented as well.
While this sounds like perfection, the show definitely has some detriments that contribute to it being an uneven experience at times. First, besides the two aforementioned songs, there is only one other number that stood out in my mind. The rest of the numbers seemed to blend together and, at times, were a bit too dull for my liking. Another issue was that the story, while interesting, was a bit too thin at times. I felt like there was something that was missing, though I couldn’t put my finger on it. Finally, I think that this show being written by the legendary Kander and Ebb also does not help it, as theater goers could be expecting something similar stylistically to “Cabaret” or “Chicago,” and “The Visit” is drastically different.
It should be noted that although the show has some issues, the scenery is stunning and had me paying close attention to it before the musical even began. It shows off what is presumed to be an old building with a broken glass roof, showing both the literal poverty level of the time and the metaphorical wear/passing of time and age.
Overall, even with its issues, I would still recommend you pay a visit to “The Visit” if only to see Rivera. Even at 83 she is a force to be reckoned with, and if you’re a theater fan, she’s not one you’ll want to miss.