Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life to Open in December

Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life will mark the theatre legend's return to Broadway when it starts performances in November, with a December opening projected.

The show, featuring a book penned by Terrence McNally (who did the same for The Rink in 1984), has not yet been booked at a theatre, though it is likely to occupy one of those owned by the Shuberts (such as the Belasco, Cort or Ethel Barrymore). The Dancer's Life will be produced by West Egg Entertainment and The Producer Circle Co., and will boast direction and choreography by Graciele Daniele (Annie Get Your Gun, Ragtime, Once on This Island).

The Dancer's Life is billed as a "tour through famous numbers in the American musical theatre," with Rivera dipping and gliding through dances she's performed in some of her greatest triumphs. To two new songs by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens (Ragtime, Dessa Rose) as well as musical theatre classics, Rivera will perform numbers choreographed by Jerome Robbins, Bob Fosse, Gower Champion, Michael Kidd and others, among them the "Shriner's Ballet" from Bye, Bye Birdie, "America" and "Dance at the Gym" from West Side Story, "All That Jazz" from Chicago and the title song from Kiss of the Spiderwoman. Rivera will be backed by 10 ensemble performers, as well.

Loy Arcenas (sets), Toni Leslie James (costumes), and Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer (lighting) will comprise the show's design team.

Rivera has been a consistent and dynamic presence on Broadway for over half a century. She most recently starred in the New York-bound Kander and Ebb musical The Visit at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. Rivera is a two-time Tony Award winner for The Rink and Kiss of the Spiderwoman, and also received nods for her performances in Nine (her most recent Broadway appearance), Jerry's Girls, Merlin, Bring Back Birdie, the original production of Chicago and Bye Bye, Birdie. Rivera originated the role of Anita in West Side Story, and has also been seen on Broadway in Can-Can, Mr. Wonderful, Shinbone Alley and Bajour, as well as in touring productions of Pippin and Sweet Charity. Rivera is a 2002 Kennedy Center Honoree.


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