Dancer, Singer, Actress; Best Known for Performances in Broadway Musicals Such as "West Side Story" and "Chicago"
Chita Rivera first performances were in shows her brother organized for production in the basement of their home. She took voice, piano, and ballet classes, and dance became her favourite activity. She won a scholarship to George Balanchine’s School of American Ballet in New York City and studied there for three years. In 1952 Rivera…
Chita Rivera first performances were in shows her brother organized for production in the basement of their home. She took voice, piano, and ballet classes, and dance became her favourite activity. She won a scholarship to George Balanchine’s School of American Ballet in New York City and studied there for three years. In 1952 Rivera auditioned for the touring company of Call Me Madam, was hired, and spent 10 months on the road.
Returning to New York, she replaced a principal dancer in Guys and Dolls on Broadway and then joined the chorus of Can-Can. In 1954 she left chorus work and performed Off-Broadway in Shoestring Revue. Roles in Seventh Heaven (1955) and Mr. Wonderful (1956) followed, and then Rivera landed the part of Anita in West Side Story, for which she received her first Tony Award nomination. More plaudits accumulated, among them Tony nominations for Rose in Bye Bye Birdie (1960), Anyanka in Bajour (1964), and Velma in Chicago (1975). She also appeared as Nickie in the film version of Sweet Charity (1969) and toured with her highly regarded cabaret act.
Rivera finally won a Tony, for her performance as Anna in The Rink (1984). One critic said that she commanded the audience like “a lion tamer with a whip snap in her walk.” In 1985 she was back on Broadway in Jerry’s Girls. The following year Rivera suffered a broken leg in an automobile accident, and it was feared that she would never walk again. After many months of rehabilitation, she eased her way back into show business by performing her cabaret act on cruise ships.
In 1993 she returned to Broadway, portraying the film goddess Aurora in Kiss of the Spider Woman. Her energetic, sultry performance earned Rivera her second Tony Award. She received additional Tony nominations for a 2003 revival of Nine and for the autobiographical Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life (2005). Other notable credits include regional theatre productions of Kander and Ebb’s The Visit (2001, 2008, 2014) and a Broadway revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood (2012). In 2015 Rivera reprised her role as the vengeful Claire Zachanassian in The Visit on Broadway, earning another Tony nomination.
Rivera’s numerous awards include a Kennedy Center Honor (2002) and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2009).
Rivera is currently starring in a revival of The Visit, for which she earned her 10th Tony Award nomination. She previously won the award in 1984 and 1993.
Ernie was perfect for our Elders Conference at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. We will definitely be using PDA again!
LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS
Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!
Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – KANSAS CITY
I hope that this message finds you well. We had a phenomenal time with Atsuko this past Thursday. We wanted to just let you know how amazing she was. All those that were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed her and had nothing but amazing things to say about her. Thank you for working with us to make sure this happened!
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust were very special and we were moved that she was willing to share them with everyone. Thank you again, PDA for all your hard work and dedication to make this program such a success!
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Dear PDA Group, Thank you so much for your hard work in scheduling our speaker! From the moment we reached out to you the first time, you worked with us on all details and logistics and kept us up-to-date on the progress. Thank you for all your hard work on making our event such a success! We couldn't have done it without you and your team!
Thank you again, Dr. Kimbrough, for a great presentation, our attendees are still talking about it!
Dr. Henry Lee's presentation was entertaining, insightful and wise. I, and everyone at Pfizer, especially appreciate the remarks you directed about following your passion and preparing yourself to excel. Thank you, everyone, at PDA for helping to make this happen!
The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg's speech was."
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL BREAKFAST, BOSTON, MLK SPEAKER
Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!
CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on our campus! Thank you PDA Group for your help from the first phone to the last you were with us every step of the way.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and definitely will bring him back!
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we thank you PDA and Dan for a successful event!! Dan was magnificent! Students really enjoyed the presentation. I know I did. Can't wait to bring in more programs with PDA Group.
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Thank you, Peter, for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one of the best speakers we've ever had!
A Conversation With Chita Rivera
Show People With Paul Wontorek: B'way Legend Chita Rivera on Anita, Feeling Fabulous & More
1 HOUR OR LESS