Smith — who believes the “feud” is actually a big Broadway myth —noted that Moreno recently attended a performance of Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life in which Rivera talks about Moreno playing Anita, the role she created onstage, in the film version of West Side Story. Not only did she preserve the role on film, but Moreno also won an Oscar for her work.
Years ago, that bit of theatre trivia sparked the mind of Forbidden Broadway creator Gerard Alessandrini to create the brilliant “Chita-Rita” number, which features two actresses in identical lavender dresses singing sharp-tongued lyrics to the tune of “America.”
Gossip maven Smith suggested the parody could be updated thusly:
Chita: “Rita! What are you doing at my show?!”
Rita: “Oh, I'll be doing the movie version of Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life, darling. I'll probably win another Oscar for it. You can present it.”
Chita: “I'd sooner die.”
Rita: “You probably will.”
(They both hiss.)
Forbidden's Alessandrini agreed with Smith and has reinstated the classic “Chita-Rita” number, which is currently being performed by Donna English and Jeanne Montano at the 47th Street Theatre.
Forbidden Broadway: Special Victims Unit plays the 47th Street Theatre, which is located in Manhattan at 304 West 47th Street. Tickets, priced $60-$65, are available by calling (212) 239-6200. Visit www.forbiddenbroadway.com for more information. *
Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life plays the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, which is located in Manhattan at 236 West 45th St. Tickets, priced $55-$100, are available by calling (212) 239-6200.