Tommy Tune, Ben Vereen and More Will Be Part of Chita: A Legendary Celebration, Directed by Graciela Daniele
By Andrew Gans
Additional artists have been announced for the star-studded, one-night-only celebration of Tony winner Chita Rivera, which will be presented Oct. 7 at the August Wilson Theatre.
The 8 PM performance, which will celebrate Rivera's 80th birthday, is titled Chita: A Legendary Celebration. Directed by Graciela Daniele and written by Terrence McNally, with musical direction by Michael Croiter, the evening will be produced by and benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
Joining the legendary artist on stage will be Tony Award winners Tommy Tune and Ben Vereen. Also joining Rivera will be several of her dancers from Kiss of the Spider Woman and The Dancer's Life, including Richard Amaro, Brad Bradley, Lloyd Culbreath, Raymond Del Barrio, Robert Montano and Alex Sanchez, as well as Kyle Taylor Parker and Nathan Peck from Broadway's Tony Award-winning Kinky Boots.
"Since our earliest days in the late 1980s, Chita Rivera has been one of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS great champions, a true and loyal friend," said Tom Viola, executive director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, in an earlier statement. “Chita is beloved on Broadway. She has excelled at every aspect of the business as a performer with great style, commitment, humor and embrace. She also believes that no member of her professional family should ever be left alone in crisis or isolation. Whether appearing in countless benefits, signing posters and Playbills or encouraging others in the community to do the same, she is one of BC/EFA’s dearest friends. We are thrilled to be able to celebrate Chita’s milestone with her!"
The celebration of Rivera will include the publication of a limited-edition coffee table book and a documentary.
Rivera has worked with many of the greatest musical theatre collaborators, including Leonard Bernstein, Lynn Ahrens, Gower Champion, Cy Coleman, Jerry Bock, Fred Ebb, Dorothy Fields, Stephen Flaherty, Bob Fosse, Sheldon Harnick, Jerry Herman, John Kander, Rob Marshall, Terrence McNally, Hal Prince, Jerome Robbins, Stephen Sondheim, Charles Strouse and more.
Rivera is a two-time Tony Award winner for The Rink and Kiss of the Spider Woman. She most recently appeared in the Broadway revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Her numerous Broadway credits include Call Me Madam, West Side Story, Bye Bye Birdie, Chicago, Jerry's Girls, Guys and Dolls, Can-Can, Seventh Heaven, Nine and Mr. Wonderful. Her autobiographical show The Dancer's Life played Broadway in 2005 and last season she appeared in a one-night-only Actors Fund presentation of the John Kander-Fred Ebb-Terrence McNally musical The Visit.
Rivera received the Kennedy Center Honor in 2002, making her the first Hispanic ever to receive the award. She also was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.
For tickets visit broadwaycares.org/chita.
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