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Timeless Tuesday: Chita Rivera Celebrates a Legendary Career

January 13, 2015
Chita Rivera

Photo: Laura Marie Duncan

Broadway icon. Tony Award winner. Groundbreaking dancer. Kennedy Center Honoree. Living legend. These are just a few of the ways one could describe Chita Rivera, who brings an intimate and rare solo performance to Charlotte next month as part of her Legendary Celebration tour.

Chita is a force to be reckoned with in the world of Broadway’s leading ladies. A sultry, raspy voice and what I like to call “legs for days” set her apart from other Broadway starlets of her time. The original Anita in West Side Story, Chita nailed the role that would catapult her to international fame. She also held major roles in classic Broadway hits like Guys and Dolls, Sweet Charity, Bye Bye Birdie and Nine. She famously originated the role of Velma in Chicago and Spider Woman in Kiss of the Spider Woman, the latter for which she won her second Tony Award in 1993.

See Chita’s best assets at play with this vintage performance on “The Judy Garland Show” circa 1963.

Chita, who turns 82 this year, will return to Broadway this spring when The Visit, the final musical from John Kander and Fred Ebb, debuts for a limited engagement. When New York Times asked Chita about her secret to being 82 and performing eight times a week, she replied:

“I don’t have any secrets. I’m so Catholic. But I think being a dancer has put some things in my head since I was 8 or 9: You eat a certain amount, you never overdo anything, you listen to your body. And when you go away from a show, when you do party, when you have fun, you have it but then you pull it back. I like my work too much not to do it.”

Catch Chita Rivera before her return to Broadway this spring! Don’t miss CHITA: A Legenday Celebration live at McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square Feb. 22, at 7:30 p.m. Great seats are still available, so get yours today!

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