Níco Stoerner, Staff Writer

Photo courtesy of Níco Stoerner

A stunning combination.

Celebrating 25 years of theatrical excellence, Actor’s Express begins their season with an outstanding musical production of Manuel Puig’s “Kiss of the Spider Woman”. This tantalizing tale of a gay window dresser, a straight political prisoner, and the dramatic changes of a country in times of revolution speaks to the changes we are witnessing today. With revolutions across the globe and continued challenges to the gay community, Actor’s Express did a fine job choosing this as their opening show.

Upon entering the theater I ordered a “Spider Bite” cocktail. Made from equal parts Chambord and Vodka with cranberry to taste, it is a dangerously delicious cocktail for sipping. (If you prefer a lighter touch add soda and it is marvelous).

From the very beginning, fair-haired actor Craig Waldrip (who plays Molina, the gay window dresser) did an outstanding job offering moments of humanity, humor, and exceptional timing, which added a familiar flair to the show and his character. In stark contrast his opposite Valentin (played by Bryant Smith) was a strong, masculine, defiant, and “heterosexual” character – steeped in the ideology of Marxism and determined to live, and die, for the revolution.

Images courtesy of Offhand Photography

The unlikely pair plays alongside and against each other beautifully with intermittent appearances from the “Spider Woman” (played by Liberty Cogen), whose flamboyant costumes, seductive movements, and fantastic vocals unify the show. This porcelain-skinned beauty nearly steals the show with her fantastic performances and musical numbers that are often the illustration of Molina’s favorite movies or his greatest fears.

Images courtesy of Offhand Photography

I could go on and on about why I loved this show, but it wouldn’t adequately articulate the great work Actor’s Express has done to establish this as yet another fantastic season of art.

Fortunately for us, we have had the pleasure of 25 years with Actor’s Express.

Here’s to 25 more.

*Special Thanks: Jenny Constantino, KICK Strategy

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Categorized | Urban Culture

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