Tonight, Friday, May 11, PBS will present an encore broadcast of their enormously successful Great Performances special Chita Rivera: A Lot of Livin’ to Do, a career retrospective of the legendary theatrical icon. The program features interviews, archival performance footage and 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.” The encore broadcast will air in the New York area on THIRTEEN/WNET Friday, May 11 at 10:00 PM ET. (Check local listings in your area).
In addition to rare archival clips from Chita’s many shows and TV appearances, there are 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.
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.
Chita Rivera: A Lot of Livin’ to Do will be available online for a limited time following this encore broadcast. Visit Great Performances Online at www.pbs.org/gperf for additional information about this and other programs.
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. On June 10, she will receive the 2018 Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre. On May 14 she will be honored with The Actors Fund Medal of Honor. 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, 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 choreographer 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 and received the coveted Kennedy Center Honor in 2002. In November, 2016 she headlined at Carnegie Hall. Her current solo CD is entitled And Now I Swing.