QuaranTune #5: "Where You Are" from Kiss of the Spider Woman

A show tune a day keeps the quarantine blues at bay...

Chita Rivera & Terrence McNally

In loving memory of acclaimed playwright and multiple Tony Award winner Terrence McNally, who passed away yesterday, as reported, following complications due to the Coronavirus, today's "QuaranTune" is dedicated to him.

Alongside his cherished plays, including his Tony Award-winning works of Love! Valour! Compassion! and Master Class, Mr. McNally also provided the book for an impressive selection of Broadway musicals that have spanned the last four decades. From 1984's The Rink all the way to the 2017 Broadway premiere of Anastasia, he has been a crucial part of a diverse range of tuners that have helped solidify his legacy in the American Theater Hall of Fame. We are forever grateful that he was able to accept his special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement at last year's ceremony.

So, how exactly do we choose a show tune to honor Mr. McNally's life and achievements? Although there were some top contenders from the 1998 classic Ragtime, we've picked "Where You Are" from Kiss of the Spider Woman (music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb). The show earned him his first-ever Tony Award in 1993 (for 'Best Book of a Musical') and we wanted to share the performance by the incomparable Chita Rivera from the 1993 Tony Awards ceremony itself. He would, of course, go on to collaborate with Ms. Rivera again in 2005's Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life and the 2015 Broadway premiere of The Visit (also boasting a score by Kander & Ebb), but Kiss of the Spider Woman undoubtedly achieved that rare Broadway status of 'iconic'...

 

So build a place where you're the shah, And we'll embrace in that Shangri-La. (Aurora, Kiss of the Spider Woman)

(Chita Rivera photo by Catherine Ashmore / Terrence McNally photo credit: IBDB)