Kiss of the Spider Woman

Music: John Kander

Lyrics: Fred Ebb

Book: Terrence McNally

Based on El Beso de la Mujer Arana, a novel by Manuel Puig, Kiss of the Spider Woman explores the complex relationship between two men caged together in a Latin American prison. One of them, a gay window dresser, has been imprisoned for allegedly making sexual advances to a young boy. In order to escape the brutality of prison life, he spends his days dreaming of Aurora, a B-movie actress from the 40s who once played the role of the sinister Spider Woman. His dreams, however, become more complicated when the warden asks him to spy on his cellmate, a political activist jailed for his involvement in the Argentinian revolution.

Kiss of the Spider Woman was originally presented as a work in progress at the State University of New York in Purchase, New York. After this production, the show was completely reworked. Kander and Ebb wrote eight new songs, and the book was drastically revised. The show was then remounted in Toronto at the St. Lawrence Centre with a cast that featured Chita Rivera, Brent Carver and Anthony Crivello. The same production then moved to London where it won the London Evening Standard Drama Award for "Best Musical." Having already established itself as a legitimate hit, Kiss of the Spider Woman finally opened in New York at the Broadhurst Theatre on May 3, 1993, where it enjoyed a run of 906 performances.

Other musicals by Kander and Ebb include Cabaret, Chicago and Steel Pier. In addition to such plays as Love! Valour! Compassion! and Master Class, Librettist Terrence McNally has also written the book for the musical Ragtime.

Cast Albums  |  Sheet Music


Cast Albums

Sheet Music

Related Sites

American Theatre Index

Related Musicals




Moonstruck Drama Bookstore  |  Theatre News  |  Theatre Links  |  Email Us