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Sunday, October 16, 2005

Anthony Crivello on Jane Eyre

There's so little left about the early days of this musical, and so far my research helper, Kristin, has been unable to track down what I could call Mr. Crivello's take on playing Rochester in particular, but she did turn up this very insightful article (I've actually taken the liberty of cutting out some of the material about Crivello's other work, and his experiences training as an actor but if anyone would like to see these, do not hesitate to email me). It's quite a shame. I think his performance on the cast CD is glorious, but alas, this is all I will ever know of it! (My sister has told me that she auditioned for the show's Toronto run but never told me, and thus I didn't know about the musical until it had closed).

Jane Eyre star glad to be back playing Toronto Anthony Crivello last here in Spider Woman debut

Copyright 1996 Toronto Star Newspapers, Ltd.
The Toronto StarNovember 27, 1996, Wednesday, METRO EDITION SECTION:

By Rita Zekas Toronto Star

It's a shame Anthony Crivello will have to lose his goatee. It looks so good on him. But it won't sit right on Mr. Rochester.

Crivello plays Rochester to Marla Schaffel's Jane in Jane Eyre, the musical play that opens Dec. 3 at the Royal Alexandra Theatre. He's happy to be back in Toronto. He was last here in '92 playing Marxist revolutionary Valentin in Kiss Of The Spider Woman, which debuted in Metro prior to its Broadway run. Crivello went on to win a Tony Award in the best featured actor category for Valentin."The Tony helped to continue to put me in the public eye ," he allowed.

In fashionable black turtle neck, Crivello looked contemporary Italian. And his body English speaks Italian, given his penchant for waving his hands around dramatically for emphasis. Crivello was in on the birthing process for Jane Eyre. He brought together the key people, John Caird and Paul Gordon. Canadian-born Caird, co-director of the Royal Shakespeare Company's productions of Les Miserables and Nicholas Nickleby, adapted Charlotte Bronte's classic novel and is the director. Gordon wrote the music and lyrics. Crivello knew Gordon from Les Miserables on Broadway, where he was Javert and Gordon did the score."That meeting was 4 1/2 years ago," Crivello recalled. "We had a rehearsal in Wichita, Kansas last year. (Far from the madding New York critics.) We played to a house of 650 seats as part of the subscription series. There were 21 performances, by the final week it was SRO.

"Jane Eyre has universal themes: redemption, forgiveness, lack ofimportance in status and wealth. In Wichita, people from age 8 to 80 were crying their eyes out. When Rochester asks, 'Jane, will you marry me?', the audience talks back: 'Say, yes!'"It's lyrical, has romantic sweep, complexity of individuals, and is so emotional," he enthused. "It is a character-driven piece, you don't have the kind of mechanics involved with musicals these days. You go back to that glorious story of Bronte's, a Gothic epic. John Napier's set is a representational piece with labyrinth and corridors and hallways. It is a metaphor for Rochester's mind."

And once again, here is where you can listen to the Toronto Cast recording.

(Above right: Anthony Crivello as Mr Rochester. Above left: Marla Schaffel as Jane Eyre).


ThisbeCiel said...

Ah I do wish there was some way to see his performance as Rochester as well. Though I am a Barbour fan, I think he is marvelous as Rochester. :)

Brontëana said...

I appreciate your support :) It gets lonely sometimes, in the sea of Barbour fans. I'm still holding out hope that maybe they still have that commercial for the show that I saw once... back in '96. *cries*