to the Chita Rivera web page!

This web site is dedicated to the legendary Chita Rivera, goddess of Broadway!

Chita Rivera
Chita Rivera     Photo by Laura Marie Duncan




CHITA RIVERA: my broadway



“You leave this show walking on air!” – New York Times


For the very first time, two-time Tony Award winner CHITA RIVERA brings her concert, CHITA RIVERA: MY BROADWAY, to The New Jersey Performing Arts Center in the intimate setting of The Chase Room and will perform songs from her legendary Broadway career.   She will perform two shows only at 7:00 PM and 9:30 PM.  All tickets are $50 (general admission) and can be ordered by calling 1-888-GO-NJPAC or at NJPAC is located at 1 Center Street in Newark, NJ

Accompanied by her longtime musical trio, led by music director Michael Croiter, Ms. Rivera  will perform selections from her most celebrated musicals, including numbers from West Side Story (“America”), Sweet Charity (“Where Am I Going?” and “Big Spender”), Chicago (“All That Jazz” and “Nowadays”), Kiss of the Spider Woman, Bye, Bye, Birdie and The Rink, and featuring the music of Leonard Bernstein, John Kander & Fred Ebb, Charles Strouse, Stephen Sondheim and Cy Coleman among others.

An accomplished and versatile actress/singer/dancer, Chita Rivera has won two Tony Awards as Best Leading Actress in a Musical and received seven additional Tony nominations. She recently starred in the Broadway and touring productions of The Dancer’s Life, a dazzling new musical celebrating her spectacular career, written by Terence McNally and directed by Graciela Daniele.  She recreated her starring role in The Visit, the new Kander/Ebb/McNally musical at the Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA (originally done at the Goodman Theatre, Chicago in 2001). She also starred in the revival of the Broadway musical Nine with Antonio Banderas. She trained as a ballerina (from age 11) before receiving a scholarship to the American School of Ballet from legendary George Balanchine. Chita’s first appearance (age 17) was in the chorus of Call Me Madam. Her electric performance as Anita in the Broadway premiere of West Side Story (1957) 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 on August 12, 2009. She received the coveted Kennedy Center Honor in Washington, DC in December, 2002 and is the first Hispanic ever chosen to receive this award.  Chita has recorded and released a new CD entitled And Now I Swing and is on a nationwide concert tour of Chita Rivera: My Broadway. This Fall 2012, she will star in a new production of The Mystery of Edwin Drood on Broadway. Her most treasured production is her daughter, singer/dancer/choreographer Lisa Mordente.

Ms. Rivera returns to Broadway this Fall in the revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood.” 

 “Chita Rivera has a gleam in her eye, a smirk on her lips and a bounce in her step…you leave this show walking on air!” – The New York Times

“Chita Rivera is more than a musical theatre star. She’s a force of nature.” – Associated Press

“Chita Rivera is irresistible!” – Newsweek

“Shimmering show-biz perfection.” – Los Angeles Times

“Ever-riveting! Chita Rivera has the rare presence of a thoroughbred star!” – USA Today

“Chita Rivera is a wonder to behold.” – Wall Street Journal

National Press/Marketing Representative:
Merle Frimark 212-819-1133



The White House announced on July 30, 2009 that Chita will be among 16 recipients of the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom on August 12th.  
America's highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom is awarded to individuals who make an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors. President Obama will present the awards at a ceremony on Wednesday, August 12 at The White House.

Among the other recipients, only actor Sidney Poitier made his contributions in the world of art and culture.  Chita has previously been honored with a Kennedy Center Honor, two Tony Awards, and just this year, the Helen Hayes Award for her performance in the Kander & Ebb, Terrence McNally musical, The Visit.

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty of Washington, D.C. commented, “I am extremely pleased to hear that D.C. native and Broadway legend Chita Rivera is a recipient of the President’s Medal of Freedom for 2009. Chita’s accomplishments as a singer, actor, and dancer, are truly historical. Congratulations to Chita on the enormous and well-deserved recognition she has received.”

Chita has released a statement in response to the announcement: 
"When my mother was a child, she rolled Easter eggs on the lawn of the White House. And now, to receive The Medal of Freedom from our President, is truly a dream. I am deeply honored to receive this award and to be in such distinguished company. I only wish my parents were here to share it with...but they are!"

In making the announcement, President Obama said, "These outstanding men and women represent an incredible diversity of backgrounds. Their tremendous accomplishments span fields from science to sports, from fine arts to foreign affairs. Yet they share one overarching trait: Each has been an agent of change. Each saw an imperfect world and set about improving it, often overcoming great obstacles along the way. Their relentless devotion to breaking down barriers and lifting up their fellow citizens sets a standard to which we all should strive. It is my great honor to award them the Medal of Freedom."

Chita Rivera's Medal of Freedom Citation:

Chita Rivera

From stage to screen, Chita Rivera has captured America’s imagination with her magnetic presence and radiant voice. Over a career that has spanned a half-century, she has received numerous accolades for her performances, including two Tony Awards, six additional Tony nominations, and the Kennedy Center Honors Award. As fearless as “Anita” in West Side Story, and as self-reliant as “Aurora” in Kiss of the Spider Woman, she has broken barriers under Broadway’s lights and inspired a generation of women to follow in her remarkable footsteps. The United States honors Chita Rivera for her lifetime of achievement as one of America’s great artists.

Chita and President Obama

President Obama's remarks at the Medal of Freedom ceremony:

Dolores Conchita Figueroa del Rivero — (applause) — knows the adversity that comes with a difficult name. (Laughter.) I can relate. (Laughter.) Known to the world by the name that has lit up Broadway marquees, Chita Rivera’s career had an improbable start. Accompanying a nervous classmate on an audition, she decided to audition herself, and impressed the choreographer, Jerome Robbins, who would make her famous as Anita in West Side Story. Sassy, electric — that rare performer who can sing, dance, and act — Chita Rivera revealed that still rarer ability to overcome when she recovered from a car accident that shattered her leg. She ended up retaking the stage, won a Tony for Kiss of the Spider Woman. And like her unforgettable Anita, Chita Rivera has shown that life can indeed be bright in America.

Medal of Freedom Awarded to Chita

Photo by J. Scott Applewhite, AP

Read the article in USA Today

Read the article in the USA Today...


From Liz Smith's syndicated column, August 17, 2009

OPEN LETTER to Chita Rivera. Last week, Chita received the nation's highest civilian honor -- the Presidential Medal of Freedom -- from President Obama. Chita was also the first Hispanic to receive the Kennedy Center Honors in 2002:

"Dear Conchita Rivero -- I believe this was the name on the program for "Call Me Madam" when it toured in Chicago back in 1953. I was in the audience to see my friend Elaine Stritch, the star, and there in the chorus was one of the best dancers I'd ever seen. We have all been friends ever since. Dear Chita, or whatever you ever choose to call yourself. I send you loving congratulations. It is no small thing to admire a fabulous performer for 56 years. It's been great fun. Love, Liz Smith."



Special Podcasts: Love and Love Alone: A Conversation with Chita Rivera and her long-time friend Richard Seff, recorded by Joel Markowitz. As wistful and winning as the best Kander and Ebb songs themselves, this two part look at Chita Rivera and The Visit is all about the love she and Richard Seff hold for the theatre world, for each other and especially for Mssrs. Kander and Ebb.

chita cabaret
Photo: Joan Marcus

Chita was on hand for the ribbon cutting of the Maravel Arts Center, the latest project of Rosie's Broadway Kids, a not-for-profit organization founded by Rosie O'Donnell in 2003 to provide musical theater training to New York City public school children, free of charge. For video of the January 26, 2009 event see Maravel Arts Center.

Chita and The Dancer's Life company
"Dancing on the Kitchen Table."

Photo by Craig Schwartz

The billboard for Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life in Times Square
Photo: Armando Modesto Del Rivero