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Inside the Chita Rivera Awards: The Interviews and Show

Inside the Chita Rivera Awards: The Interviews and Show

Hosted by Ann Reinking and Ben Vereen The Chita Rivera Awards was filled with community and love.

The Radio City Rockette’s kicked off the night with a rousing version of “New York New York”.

Joe Lantanteri who started it all spoke as the cast of Smokey Joe’s Café performed “On Broadway”.

Luann DeLesseps, Marilu Henner and Ethan Slater presented the Off Broadway Awards to:

Outstanding Choreography Off Broadway: Rick and Jeff Kuperman, Alice By Heart 

Outstanding Male Dancer Off Broadway:Wesley Taylor, Alice By Heart 

Outstanding Female Dancer Off Broadway: Irina Dvorovenko, The Beast in the Jungle

Outstanding Ensemble Off Broadway: Smokey Joe’s Café, Steven Baruch, Mark Routh, Richard Frankel, Tom Viertel

Angie Schworer gave us some “Zazz” from The Prom.

Ann Reinking presented the Vanguard Award to the founder of Steps Carol Paumgarten

Michael Riedel presented the awards to ………….

Theatrical Release: Mary Poppins Returns – (Release date, December 19, 2018, Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda) Choreographers: Rob Marshall & John DeLuca; Co-Choreographer, Joey Pizzi; Associate Choreographer, Tara Nichole Hughes, Assistant Choreographer: Marlon Pelayo 

Documentaries: Moving Stories, Lives Transformed By Dance – (Release Date, August 11, 2018, Battery Dance Festival, MoMa) Director: Rob Fruchtman, Wilderness Films, Producer 

Form Kiss Me Kate “Tom , Dick or Harry” brought Corbin Bleu, Will Burton, Rick Faugno and Stephanie Styles to the stage.

Damon J. Gillespie and Michaela Dimond talked about Flody Suarez, Jeffrey Seller, and Cher (producers of The Cher Show) who were honored with the Ambassador for the Arts Award honoring their contribution to the convergence of theater, film, and television. The award was given out by Andy Blankenbuehler.

A medley from Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations rocked the house with Saint Aubyn, Shawn Browersm E, Clayton Cornelious, Taylor Symone Jackson, Jelani Remy, Nasia Thomas, Curtis Wiley and Candice Marie Woods.

Richard Thomas talked about the Douglas and Ethel Watts Critics Choice Award as LeeRoy Reams and Patricia Watts presented it to it to Faye Driscoll.

Curtis Holland proved he had the steps when he tapped his toes off to “I’m Just Wild About Harry” from Shuffle Along.

Savion Glover and Camille A. Brown presented the SDC Director Award to George C. Wolfe.

A heartfelt “Wheels Of A Dream” from Ragtime brought husband and wife Brian Stokes Mitchell and Allison Tucker to the stage.

Cada Noche…Tango restaged by Nancy Turano brought sexy back with Shelby Colona, Julius Anthony Rubio and Jhusen Torres.

Mary Testa and Chita who slinkily did a tango to the podium gave dancer, choreographer and theater director Graciela Daniele the third annual Lifetime Achievement Award.

The final awards of the night were given out to….

Outstanding Choreography in a Broadway Show: David Neumann, Hadestown 

Outstanding Male Dancer in a Broadway Show: Ephraim Sykes, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations 

Outstanding Female Dancer in a Broadway Show: A tie for Ashley Blair Fitzgerald, The Cher Show and Gabrielle Hamilton, Oklahoma! 

Outstanding Ensemble in a Broadway Show: King Kong

Ending the night were The fabulous kids from Dance Academy of North Jersey

all video shot by Brian Hester

Opening photo Magda Katz


Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email:

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