Chita Rivera & Caroline O’Connor warm up for The Rink at Southwark Playhouse

10 Apr
Posted in: Theatre News
Author: Staff
Emilio Madrid-Kuser

Broadway, West End and film actress Caroline O'Connor and legendary star of stage and screen Chita Rivera have got together for a chat about their roles in the forthcoming London revival of Kander and Ebb’s The Rink.

The production, which also has a book by Tony Award-winning Terrence McNally, will be the first London revival in 20 years of The Rink and will run at Southwark Playhouse for a limited season from 25 May to 23 June 2018. The show will be directed by Adam Lenson and choreographed by Fabian Aloise, with musical direction by Joe Bunker.

The Rink focuses on Anna, an Italian housewife who runs a roller-skating rink on the Eastern seaboard, which she is about to sell to developers until her estranged daughter, Angel, returns after a long absence, hoping to save the rink and patch things up with her mother.

Caroline O’Connor (Nini in Baz Luhrmann’s Oscar-winning film Moulin Rouge, Countess Lily in the Broadway musical Anastasia, Velma Kelly in Chicago on Broadway and in Australia and Mabel Normand in Mack and Mabel in the West End) is about to play the role of Anna in the new production, a role originated by Rivera in the 1984 Broadway staging, also starring Liza Minnelli.

Chita Rivera, who won the Tony and Drama Desk Awards for her performance, said:

“I’m so excited to be handing over my skates to the new Anna, the wonderful Caroline O’Connor. This musical is a very unique piece and it’s definitely ahead of its time because two of its central characters are women!”

O’Connor understudied the role of Angel in the original 1988 West End production of the show, which starred Josephine Blake and Diane Langton as Anna and Angel respectively. She said: “I’m positively thrilled to be creating a new Anna for the brand-new production of The Rink at the Southwark Playhouse in London.”