TOP 10 PERFORMANCES BY THE LEGENDARY CHITA RIVERA
Chita is back! In honor of Chita Rivera opening The Visit at the Williamstown Theatre Festival this week, we present ten of our favorite Chita performances – from Spanish Rose in Birdie to Anita in West Side Story, ‘come on, babe, why don’t we paint the town…’
Opening on July 31st at the Williamstown Theatre Festival is The Visit starring the one and only Chita Rivera. This will be a revamped version of this long in development musical based on the dark play of the same name by Friedrich Dürrenmatt. The musical incarnation of The Visit has a book by Tony Award winner Terrence McNally and a score by Broadway royalty and frequent Chita Rivera collaborators, John Kander and the late Fred Ebb. A new addition to the creative team for Williamstown is the Tony Award winning director John Doyle. It has been stated that Mr. Doyle and the writers have instituted a number of significant changes for this new production. This new “Visit” will be significantly different from previous productions that have run at the Goodman Theatre in 2001, The Signature Theatre in 2008, and the one night only Actors Fund concert in 2011.
In celebration of all things Chita Rivera, we present our top ten favorite performances of the legendary gypsy doing what she does best. Enjoy!
10. CHECK OUT CHITA IN 1963 ON THE JUDY GARLAND SHOW!
9. CHITA RIVERA AND LIZA MINNELLI PLAYED MOTHER AND DAUGHTER IN THE SHORT LIVED KANDER AND EBB MUSICAL “THE RINK” (1984)
7. ANTONIO BANDERAS GETTING UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH CHITA IN THE REVIVAL OF “NINE” (2003)
6. “A DANCER’S LIFE” IS CHITA TELLING HER STORY AND THE STORIES OF EVERYONE WHO HELPED HER BECOME WHO SHE IS TODAY (2005)
5. LOOK AT SPANISH ROSE! CHITA PERFORMS HER BIG NUMBER FROM “BYE BYE BIRDIE” ON THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW IN 1960
4. EVER HEARD OF “BRING BACK BIRDIE”? THE “BYE BYE BIRDIE” SEQUEL THAT RAN FOR 4 PERFORMANCES IN 1981? SURE IT WAS A FLOP, BUT CHITA STILL GOT TO SHINE IN HER SHOW STOPPING SONG “WELL, I’M NOT!“
3. CHITA WINS HER SECOND TONY AWARD STARRING IN A THIRD KANDER AND EBB MUSICAL ON BROADWAY,”KISS OF THE SPIDERWOMAN (1993)
2. TWO ICONIC SONGS COMBINED! CHITA NAILS HER SIGNATURE SONGS “AMERICA” AND “ALL THAT JAZZ” IN 1982
1. AND WE END WITH THE HAUNTING SONG “LOVE AND LOVE ALONE” FROM “THE VISIT”, RUNNING UNTIL AUGUST 17TH AT THE WILLIAMSTOWN THEATRE FESTIVAL
By: Phillip Fazio