Sunday, March 23, 2008

"Well, I'm Not"

Only a star with the luster of Chita Rivera could shine through the abortion that was the four performance flop Bring Back Birdie, a woefully misguided and poorly written sequel to Bye Bye Birdie, checking in the familiar characters twenty years down the line. (Donald O'Connor, in his Main Stem bow, succeeded Dick Van Dyke, Maria Karnilova took over Mae from Kay Medford). The sparkplug the production needed, Rivera received a Tony nomination for her efforts, which were welcomed relief for otherwise severely disappointed theatregoers. "Well, I'm Not" was her big solo effort in the second act, a follow-up of sorts to the "Shriner's Ballet"/"Spanish Rose" numbers where Rosie defiantly sings and dances up a storm because she's mad at Albert.

Peter Filichia recalls the first act audience reaction at the very first preview in this 2002 article.


What fresh hell is this? said...

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hehe happy easter :)

SarahB said...

This song is in my top 20 of Diva Show Stoppers!

Theatre Aficionado at Large said...

It's a hoot and a half.

And as always she's just the epitome of resplendency.