5. The Rink
There's so much to love about Chita Rivera in the The Rink. No, I never saw it, but I have memorized the original cast album and spent more than a few afternoons entranced by the clips on YouTube. I'm not alone — Chita won her first Tony Award for The Rink. She comes out swinging with the toe-tapper, "Chief Cook and Bottle Washer," another song that perfectly demonstrates how accessible her personality is in her singing voice. You hear her and you feel you know her. As a matter of fact, writing about Rivera, I find myself referring to her just as "Chita," as if we were friends. We're not friends, although Chita seems like someone I'd want to be friends with the way she sasses Liza Minnelli (and belts her face off) in the unforgettable duets, "Don't Ah Ma Me" and "The Apple Doesn't Fall Very Far From The Tree." Chita's also warm and funny in "Wallflower" and proves her aptitude with a ballad on the plaintive, inspiring "We Can Make It."
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