Rivera's agent confirmed to Playbill On-Line that Graciela Daniele — of Once on This Island and Ragtime fame — will direct and choreograph the production, which boasts a book by Tony Award winner Terrence McNally. A Dancer's Life will feature back-up dancers and a full orchestra and will likely bow at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles this summer. Stops are also expected in Boston, Chicago, Washington and, ultimately, New York.
Rivera joins a long line of theatre stars who have gone the solo-show route, including Bea Arthur and Barbara Cook. Elaine Stritch received, perhaps, the most acclaim for any one-person show in recent memory with her Tony and Emmy-winning Elaine Stritch At Liberty.
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 her most recent outing, 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 Bernarda Alba at the Mark Taper Forum.
Graciela Daniele began her career as a performer in the Broadway productions of What Makes Sammy Run?; Here's Where I Belong; Promises, Promises; Coco; Follies; and Chicago. She is credited with the musical staging for A History of the American Film and the choreography for The Most Happy Fella, The Pirates of Penzance, Zorba, The Rink and The Mystery of Edwin Drood. She wrote the book and directed and choreographed the 1989 production Dangerous Games. Daniele also directed and choreographed Once On This Island, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Annie Get Your Gun and Marie Christine. She supplied the musical staging for The Goodbye Girl and Ragtime as well.
* As previously announced, Chita Rivera is scheduled to play Feinstein's at the Regency Feb. 22-March 12, 2005.