Review: ‘Two Broadway Legends, Together at Last!’

Chita Rivera has the best of it in this misnamed ("Together at Last!") show in which she and Carol Channing perform two completely separate acts. Rivera's 75 minutes are expertly written, directed, choreographed, lit, presented and performed, complete with three super backup singer-dancers (male, of course). In Channing's hour, sadly, this most generous and professional of performers seems simply to have been thrown onto the North Shore Music Theater's demanding in-the-round stage.

Chita Rivera has the best of it in this misnamed (“Together at Last!”) show in which she and Carol Channing perform two completely separate acts. Rivera’s 75 minutes are expertly written, directed, choreographed, lit, presented and performed, complete with three super backup singer-dancers (male, of course). In Channing’s hour, sadly, this most generous and professional of performers seems simply to have been thrown onto the North Shore Music Theater’s demanding in-the-round stage.

There are still flashes of Channing’s incomparable timing, notably in Charles Gaynor’s monologue “Cecilia Sisson,” perhaps the oldest of her signature pieces. But there is now a frantic, exhausted quality to much of her singing.

Each of the stars’ musical directors draws bold, bouncy rhythms from the first-rate, 11-piece pit band; Rivera’s entourage offers the blanket support Channing could use.

Much of Rivera’s dance material is from her Broadway hits, and her performance suggests she could still cut the mustard in the “Chicago” of today’s Broadway. In addition to recollections of “West Side Story,” “Sweet Charity” and “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” among others, Rivera proves her voice with the escalating vocal demands of “Our Love Is Here to Stay” and, along with her dancers, romps through “Me and My Babies” and “Thank Heaven for Little Boys.”

Gleaming in purple glitter and, later, a white pantsuit, Rivera still has all the right moves. When she announces, “I haven’t stopped dancing yet,” she’s telling the truth.

Two Broadway Legends, Together at Last!

Production

BEVERLY, Mass. A North Shore Music Theater presentation of a musical revue in two acts starring Carol Channing and Chita Rivera. Channing's credits:

Crew

Musical director, Robert Wendel; choreography, Honi Coles; costumes, Bob Mackie. Rivera's credits: writer-director, Fred Ebb; musical director, Greg Dlugos; choreography, Chris Chadman, Wayne Cilento, Ron Field, Lisa Mordente, Chet Walker; lighting, Michael Bliss. North Shore executive producer, Jon Kimbell. Opened July 1, 1997, at the North Shore Music Theater. Reviewed July 2; 1,830 seats; $ 42 top. Running time: 2 HOURS, 38 MIN.
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading