"Something to Dance About": Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life Begins National Tour

News   "Something to Dance About": Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life Begins National Tour
Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life kicks off its 15-city national tour Dec. 19 at Cincinnati's Aronoff Theatre. The production, starring Tony Award winner Rivera, will play the Ohio venue through the end of the month.

Chita Rivera in the Broadway production of A Dancer's Life
Chita Rivera in the Broadway production of A Dancer's Life Photo by Paul Kolnik

Graciela Daniele, who directed and choreographed the recent Broadway musical that celebrates the life and career of Rivera, repeats those same duties for the tour. Rivera is joined onstage by an ensemble of artists that includes Richard Amaro, Lloyd Culbreath, Raymond Del Barrio, Carolyn Doherty, Pascale Faye, Ramon Flowers, Richard Montoya, Lisa Mordente, April L. Nixon and Jennifer Savelli.

The creative team for the musical's tour includes Loy Arcenas (scenic design), Toni-Leslie James (costume design), Beverly Emmons (lighting design based on the original Broadway design by Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer) and Mark Hummel (musical concepts, arrangements and supervision). Gordon Twist is the musical director.

The current tour itinerary for Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life follows:
Aronoff Theatre in Cincinnati, OH (Dec. 19-31)
Miami PAC in Miami, FL (Jan. 2-7, 2007)
Merriam Theater in Philadelphia, PA (Jan. 9–14)
Palace Theater in Cleveland, OH (Feb. 13–25)
Paramount Theater in Seattle, WA (Feb. 27–March 4)
Gammage Theater in Tempe, AZ (March 13–18)
Orange County PAC in Costa Mesa, CA (March 20-25)
Mann Auditorium in Fort Myers, FL (April 10 – 15)
Kravis Auditorium in West Palm Beach, FL (April 17–22)
Warner Theater in Washington, DC (April 24–29)
Colonial Theater in Boston, MA (May 1–13)
Providence PAC in Providence, RI (May 15–20)
Uihlein Theater in Milwaukee, WI (May 22–27)
Shea’s PAC in Buffalo, NY (May 29–June 3)
Scope Arena in Norfolk, VA (June 5– 10)
Tickets for the Cincinnati engagement, priced $20-$55, are available by calling (513) 241-7469 or by visiting www.BroadwayAcrossAmerica.com.


The Dancer's Life began previews at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre Nov. 23, 2005. The musical, which officially opened Dec. 11, 2005, played 20 previews and 72 regular performances before closing Feb. 19, 2006. Boasting a book by Terrence McNally and direction/choreography by Graciela Daniele, the production starred Rivera with Liana Ortiz as Little Chita/Lisa. The ensemble comprised Richard Amaro, Lloyd Culbreath, Malinda Farrington, Edgard Gallardo, Deirdre Goodwin, Richard Montoya, Lainie Sakakura, Alex Sanchez and Allyson Tucker. Cleve Asbury and Madeleine Kelly were swings.

Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life, according to production notes, is a "tour through landmark creations in the American theatre that were helmed by some of the greatest talents in its history, including Jerome Robbins, Leonard Bernstein, Bob Fosse, Gower Champion and Michael Kidd." The production featured new songs by Ragtime's Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty with numbers from West Side Story, Chicago and Kiss of the Spider Woman.

Among the songs heard in the production were "Dancing on the Kitchen Table," "Something to Dance About," "I'm Available," "Camille, Colette, Fifi," "Garbage," "Can-Can," "Mr. Wonderful," "A Boy Like That," "Dance at the Gym," "Somewhere," "Put on a Happy Face," "Rosie," "Don't 'Ah Ma' Me," "Big Spender," "Nowadays," "More Than You Know," "A Woman the World Has Never Seen," "Class," "Chief Cook & Bottlewasher," "Kiss of the Spider Woman," "Where You Are" and "All That Jazz."

The creative team for The Dancer's Life included Loy Arcenas (scenic design), Toni-Leslie James (costume design), Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer (lighting design), Scott Lehrer (sound design), Mark Hummel (musical direction) and Danny Troob (orchestrations).

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.

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