WNET/THIRTEEN will re-broadcast the dazzling PBS Great Performances special, CHITA RIVERA: A LOT OF LIVIN’ TO DO on Friday, July 21 at 9:00 PM ET. The 60-minute career retrospective of the legendary Broadway icon features interviews, archival performance footage, and newly filmed songs from Rivera’s concert repertoire including such numbers as “A Boy Like That,” “America,” “A Lot of Livin’ to Do,” “All That Jazz,” and “Nowadays.” This will only air on WNET/THIRTEEN in New York.
In addition to rare archival clips from Chita’s many shows and TV appearances, there are newly filmed interviews with John Kander, choreographer Graciele Daniele, The Visit director John Doyle, original West Side Story star Carol Lawrence, playwright Terrence McNally, entertainers Dick Van Dyke and Ben Vereen, choreographer Dee Dee Wood, and Chita’s daughter, singer, dancer, choreographer Lisa Mordente.
This special celebration of Ms. Rivera’s extraordinary life and career was first broadcast nationally on PBS in November, 2015. It was filmed before a packed audience at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s The Appel Room in the time Warner Center, against a winter wonderland backdrop of Central Park and Columbus Circle where Ms. Rivera is accompanied by an 11-piece orchestra led by her long-time music director Michael Croiter.
An accomplished and versatile actress/singer/dancer, Chita Rivera has won two Tony Awards as Best Leading Actress in a Musical and received eight additional Tony nominations for an exceptional 10 Tony nominations. She recently starred in The Visit, the final John Kander/Fred Ebb/Terrence McNally musical directed by John Doyle and choreographed by Graciela Daniele on Broadway (2015), following the acclaimed production at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in the summer of 2014. She starred in the Broadway revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, the Broadway and touring productions of The Dancer’s Life, a dazzling new musical celebrating her spectacular career, written by Terrence McNally and directed by Graciela Daniele and the revival of the Broadway musical Nine with Antonio Banderas. She trained as a ballerina (from age 11) before receiving a scholarship to the School of American Ballet from legendary George Balanchine. Chita’s first appearance (age 17) was as a principal dancer in Call Me Madam. Her electric performance as Anita in the original Broadway premiere of West Side Story brought her stardom, which she repeated in London. Her career is highlighted by starring roles in Bye Bye Birdie, The Rink (Tony Award), Chicago, Jerry’s Girls, Kiss of the Spider Woman (Tony Award), and the original Broadway casts of Guys and Dolls, Can-Can, Seventh Heaven and Mr. Wonderful. On tour: Born Yesterday, The Rose Tattoo, Call Me Madam, Threepenny Opera, Sweet Charity, Kiss Me Kate, Zorba, Can-Can with The Rockettes. Chita was awarded The Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2009. She received the coveted Kennedy Center Honor in 2002 and became the first Hispanic woman ever chosen to receive this award. In November, 2016 she headlined at Carnegie Hall. Chita’s current solo CD is entitled And Now I Swing.
This September, Chita will begin her concert tour with another legend – Tommy Tune. Chita & Tune – Two for the Road opens at Enlow Hall/ Kean University September 16 and 17 http://www.keanstage.com/enlow-hall
Chita Rivera: A Lot of Livin’ to Do is a production of THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET.
Chita Rivera: A Lot of Livin’ to Do was produced by Richard R. Schilling and directed by David Horn. For Great Performances, Bill O’Donnell is series producer and David Horn is executive producer.
Visit Great Performances Online at www.pbs.org/gperf for additional information about this and other programs.