"Due to difficulties in completing capitalization to meet our schedule, the commercial producing team has had to postpone their plans for Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life and therefore its engagement here at the Ahmanson," stated Center Theatre Group founding artistic director Gordon Davidson in a release. "The cost of producing musicals has escalated dramatically in recent years and the task of finding investors is evermore challenging. We are deeply disappointed for our subscribers and for Chita that this production will not happen here."
Playwright Terrence McNally, director-choreographer Graciela Daniele and the titular stage legend herself combined their talents on the new stagework, which was slated to run June 17-Aug. 7 in CTG's California home following a debut run at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, June 2-12. No word on any change to the Colorado run could be ascertained at press time.
The Dancer's Life replaced the previously-announced Anything Goes to close the 2004-2005 season at Los Angeles' Ahmanson Theatre. The company has currently announced no replacement, "although some or all of the weeks allotted during this time period may be filled with a special engagement," according to the release.
The Dancer's Life is billed as "a new musical celebrating the life and career of one of America's most beloved stage performers." Rivera's constant collaborators join her on the work. Four-time Tony Award winner McNally pens the work while Graciela Daniele directs and choreographs. The "tour through famous numbers in the American musical theatre" will feature works by such great talents as Jerome Robbins, Leonard Bernstein, Bob Fosse, Gower Champion and Michael Kidd. The production will feature an ensemble cast of ten who recreate some of Rivera's memorable Broadway performances in Bye, Bye Birdie ("Shriner's Ballet"), West Side Story ("America" and "Dance at the Gym"), Chicago ("All That Jazz") and Kiss of the Spider Woman (the title song).
The work is also expected to play stops in Boston, Chicago, Washington and New York, according to the star's website.
2002 Kennedy Center Honoree Rivera has earned two Tony Awards for Leading Actress in a Musical for her work in The Rink and Kiss of the Spider Woman The legend last appeared on Broadway opposite Antonio Banderas in the Tony Award-winning revival of Nine. Among her other numerous credits include Call Me Madam, Guys and Dolls, Can-Can, Seventh Heaven, Mr. Wonderful, Bajour, Sweet Charity, Jerry’s Girls and Zorba.