The Playbill Vault Celebrates Tony Award Winner Chita Rivera

By Megan Dekic
23 Jan 2014

Rivera's next career highlight came in 1975 when she originated the role of Velma Kelly in Chicago. Directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse, the musical starred Gwen Verdon as Roxie Hart with Jerry Orbach as Billy Flynn and Barney Martin as Amos Hart.

The production opened June 3, 1975, at the 46th Street Theatre, where it ran for 936 performances. In his New York Times review, Clive Barnes wrote: "We are given three superlative, knock-em-in-the-aisles performances by three stars who glitter like gold dust all evening: Gwen Verdon, Chita Rivera and Jerry Orbach." Rivera earned her second Tony Award nomination for her performance.

The long-running revival of Chicago currently stars Bianca Marroquin as Roxie Hart and Amra-Faye Wright as Velma Kelly.

Read the original Chicago Playbill here.