"The joy I have had with sharing The Dancer's Life with creators, dancers, crew, musicians and audiences both on Broadway and around the country has been an experience I shall never forget," Tony Award winner Rivera told Playbill.com June 6.
By the end of the limited-run national tour, Rivera and Co. will have played 125 performances. The tour opened in Cincinnati, OH, Dec. 19, 2006. It first bowed on Broadway in the 2005-06 season, when it played 20 previews and 72 performances and earned Rivera a 2006 Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical.
The current cast of Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life includes Richard Amaro, Lloyd Culbreath, Raymond Del Barrio, Carolyn Doherty, Pascale Faye, Amy Hall, Richard Montoya, Lisa Mordente, Jennifer Savelli and Steven Sofia.
Rivera and the show — which charts her life and work, plucking songs from her musical theatre career and reveling in American theatre choreography of the past half-century — earned solid reviews on tour.
The musical entertainment is written by Terrence McNally and directed and choreographed by Graciela Daniele. Kinetic samples of the choroegraphic styles of Bob Fosse, Jerome Robbins, Gower Champion and Michael Kidd — with whom Rivera worked — were considered a major highlight of the show.
Songwriters represented in The Dancer's Life included Irving Berlin, Stephen Sondheim, Lee Adams, Fred Ebb, Dorothy Fields, Jerry Bock, Charles Strouse, Cy Coleman, Lawrence Holofcener and many more. Special song material was penned by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty.
Born Dolores Conchita Figueroa del Rivero in 1933, Chita Rivera is one of the theatre's most acclaimed performers. She has won Tony Awards for her performances in two Kander and Ebb musicals, The Rink and Kiss of the Spider Woman, and was also nominated for her work in Bye Bye Birdie, Chicago, Bring Back Birdie, Merlin, Jerry's Girls and the Tony-winning revival of Nine. Rivera's other Broadway credits include the musical Seventh Heaven, her Broadway debut; Mr. Wonderful; the original production of West Side Story; and Bajour. She appeared in the film version of "Sweet Charity," starred in the world premiere of Kander and Ebb's The Visit, and also headlined the play Bernarda Alba at the Mark Taper Forum.