Video: Happy Birthday, Chita Rivera!

Chita is known for her work on Broadway in West Side Story, Chicago, Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Visit and so many more.

By: Jan. 23, 2023
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Today, January 23, we celebrate the 90th birthday of a theatrical icon and one of Broadway's greatest triple-threat talents... the one and only Chita Rivera!

Chita is one of the most nominated performers in Tony Award history having earned 10 nominations, won twice and received the 2018 Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre. Her most recent Broadway starring roles include The Visit, the revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood; The Dancer's Life, and the revival of Nine.

She trained as a ballerina (from age nine) before receiving a scholarship to the School of American Ballet from the legendary choreographer George Balanchine. Her electric performance as Anita in the original Broadway premiere of West Side Story brought her international stardom.

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, Mr. Wonderful.

Chita was awarded The Presidential Medal of Freedom and the coveted Kennedy Center Honor; performed her solo concert at London's Cadogan Hall and Carnegie Hall. Her most treasured production is her daughter, singer/dancer/choreographer Lisa Mordente.

As BroadwayWorld previously reported, HarperOne will release Chita: A Memoir on April 25, 2023. Fueled by a desire to pass on her extraordinary breadth of experience to a new generation, Chita puts you in the room with Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Arthur Laurents, Jerome Robbins, Bob Fosse, Hal Prince, Gower Champion, John Kander, Fred Ebb, Jerry Herman, and other titans of the Broadway world. Chita shares intimate and riveting stories of Gwen Verdon, Elaine Stritch, Dick Van Dyke, Liza Minnelli, Sammy Davis Jr., and a host of other costars and castmates who inspired her, encouraged her, and matched her exacting standards-as well as those who didn't. Pre-order the book today!

Need more Chita in your life? Tickets go on sale soon for BroadwayWorld's 20th Anniversary Concert (Sunday, May 21 at 8pm), which will be hosted by Chita and BroadwayWorld's Richard Ridge. Check back soon for updates!

While we await the big day, check out BroadwayWorld's exclusive highlights from Chita's 2016 Carnegie Hall concert below.