Chita Rivera to Bring 80th Birthday Celebration to Bay Area Cabaret, 2/23

Chita Rivera to Bring 80th Birthday Celebration to Bay Area Cabaret, 2/23
Chita Rivera. Photo by Laura Marie Duncan.

Bay Area Cabaret presents the one and only Broadway legend Chita Rivera in a unique solo concert event celebrating her 80th Birthday: CHITA: A LEGENDARY CELEBRATION. The nine-time Tony nominee, two-time Tony Award winner (Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Rink) and first Hispanic woman ever to receive the Kennedy Center Honor, will share perspectives and recreate signature moments from her legendary career.

Ms. Rivera will perform two shows 3:00pm and 7:30pm, Sunday, February 23, at the historic Venetian Room of the Fairmont San Francisco, 950 Mason Street. Tickets ($43-$48) are available at www.bayareacabaret.org or by phone at City Box Office (415) 392-4400.

Direct from her sold-out smash concert in New York, Ms. Rivera will perform numbers from West Side Story; Sweet Charity; Chicago; Kiss of the Spider Woman; Bye, Bye, Birdie; and The Rink. In addition to a special tribute to her dear friends John Kander & Fred Ebb, the timeless music of Leonard Bernstein, Charles Strouse, Jerry Herman, and Stephen Sondheim will also be featured, with live orchestral accompaniment conducted by Michael Croiter.

"A girl only turns 80 once in her life, thank God," Ms. Rivera said, " and I want everyone there as proof."

Ms. Rivera recently starred in the successful production of The Mystery of Edwin Drood on Broadway and starred in 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. 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 the age of 11, before receiving a scholarship to the American School of Ballet from legendary George Balanchine. She first appeared at age 17 as a principal dancer in 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 she has starred in Born Yesterday, The Rose Tattoo, Call Me Madam, Threepenny Opera, Sweet Charity, Kiss Me Kate, Zorba, and, Can-Can with The Rockettes.

Ms. Rivera was awarded The Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in August, 2009. She received the coveted Kennedy Center Honor in Washington, DC in December, 2002. In May, 2013, she was appointed to a special Kennedy Center Honors Advisory Committee. Her current solo CD is entitled And Now I Swing.

Bay Area Cabaret was founded ten years ago by fifth generation San Francisco native Marilyn Levinson as a not-for profit organization. Through its concert series and wide-ranging outreach activities, BAC aims to expand the definition of cabaret and broaden the audience for intimate entertainment, offering Great American Songbook entries from Harold Arlen and Stephen Sondheim to Antonio Carlos Jobim and Joni Mitchell. Past performances have featured Sutton Foster, Barbara Cook, Marvin Hamlisch, Megan Hilty, Christine Ebersole, songwriters Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Peter Gallagher, Marin Mazzie and Jason Danieley, Stacey Kent and Jane Monheit, Rent stars Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal, and the high school vocal competition Bay Area Teen Idol.

Bay Area Cabaret continues its 10th Anniversary season with Stacey Kent celebrating her new bossa nova CD release "The Changing Lights," (March 15, 2014), rising pop star Morgan James (April 6, 2014), and Karen Mason in "Secrets of the Ancient Divas" (May 18, 2014).

For Bay Area Cabaret patrons, The Fairmont San Francisco offers a delicious buffet dinner in the Laurel Court Restaurant & Bar for $40 (plus tax and tip), plus four hours of free parking for all who dine in the Laurel Court. For more information, visit www.bayareacabaret.org.

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