Chita Rivera Plays New Year's Eve Engagement at 54 Below
By Adam Hetrick
Two-time Tony Award-winning theatre veteran Chita Rivera offers two special New Year's Eve concerts at 54 Below Dec. 31.
The 7 PM and 11 PM shows feature Rivera and her trio: music director Michael Croiter, Michael Patrick Walker and Jim Donica. The evenings also include a three-course dinner and a champagne toast. Tickets range $300-$400.
"It’s just different," Rivera said of performing her intimate nightclub act in a recent interview with Playbill.com. "You hear your own voice, you’re telling your own story, as opposed to the story of the playwright. It's a much more personal situation. In another way you feel closer to the audience, you’re exposing yourself. The first time I did it I thought I was going to die. [Laughs.] And the first time I was asked to do it, I said no because I need a character to play. But the interesting thing is you get to know yourself even better by doing something like that. You hear your own voice and you become introduced to yourself a bit more. So every level of the entertainment field is one where you can get to know yourself in different ways. I can thank Ron Field and Fred Ebb and John Kander for that exposure. It was when Fosse had his heart attack, and we had to quit Chicago for a while. And it was then that they said let’s do a nightclub act. And I said, 'Ooh, no!,' but I'm really glad I did."
The stage legend was celebrated Oct. 7 during a star-studded, one-night-only celebration at the August Wilson Theatre. Read about the special benefit event here.
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 54below.com.
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