CHITA RIVERA: STILL GOING STRONG AT 82!   1 comment

CHITA SINGING AND DANCING “ALL THAT JAZZ” AND “AMERICA”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2E30HG5QNs

This year at the age of 82, 64 years after making her debut on Broadway, Chita Rivera will once again be on stage in New York city starring in the lead role in the musical “The Visit”. Between the two shows she did 38 other musicals of which I saw her in 16 of them.

An old cliché that was true took place when she accompanied a friend who was auditioning for a role in “Call Me Madam”, a Ethel Merman show, and she got the role.

Along with Gwen Verdon the two of them are/were the most admired dancers on The Great White Way with both Donna McKechnie and Ann Reiking crediting them with their success. In 1957 she cemented her fame as a musical Broadway star playing Anita in “West Side Story”.  The same role would bring an equal amount of fame to Rita Moreno though the reason given for not casting Chita in the film is/was ridiculous.

In 1986 Rivera was in a car accident in Manhattan that broke her leg in 12 places. Between 18 screws and intense rehabilitation she proved every one wrong when they said she wouldn’t dance again! In 1988 she starred on Broadway in “Kiss Of The Spider Woman” winning another Tony nomination.

Sadly she didn’t get a chance to play the leads on film that she played in the original stage productions of “Chicago” and “Bye Bye Birdie” though she did have a cameo in the former.

Chita Rivera was the first Hispanic, and the first Latino woman, to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2009) and the Kennedy Center Honors (2002). She has been nominated for 9 Tony awards, winning 2, and in 2013 had the honor of being the Grand Marshall in the Puerto Rican Day Parade.

I briefly met her when she played in “Can Can” at  the Coconut Grove Playhouse in Florida and she was all a fan could expect.

I am sure, as she always has, Chita Rivera will win accolades, and probably a 10th Tony nomination, when “The Visit” opens on Broadway in May.

And a must watch–her receiving the Kennedy Center honors and those who honored her!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdIpctdHNu0

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Posted April 6, 2015 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT

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One response to “CHITA RIVERA: STILL GOING STRONG AT 82!

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  1. she’s still looking good too

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