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My thread for Patronus because we all know he's seen Chita, where's the review??

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Tell us about it! You know you want to!
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Nice, Popular. Very nice. I didn't talk about it THAT much. :-P

In short, I enjoyed it. I am working on a more indepth review that I am hoping to post later today. It will give you something to look forward to when you return from City of Angels.
Updated On: 11/6/05 at 03:02 PM
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That's all we ask.

And no, you didn't talk about it THAT much, I just love messing with you re: My thread for Patronus because we all know he's seen Chita, where's the
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I suppose I am somewhat of an easy mark. re: My thread for Patronus because we all know he's seen Chita, where's the

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I just hope half the review isn't taken up by traffic talk.
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Oy, don't get me started on the traffic. We got down there in record time. It took almost 5 hours to get back.
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OY, indeed. Actually, that deserves an OY VEY!
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Okay, I warn you guys...I haven't written a review of a show in quite some time so I apologize in advance:

Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life
San Diego, CA 11.05.05 2:00 pm

The Show:

From the moment that the orchestra starts playing familiar bars from familiar scores that change to something new the moment you recognize them, you have a feeling that you are in for a mesh of old and new. Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life is a very enjoyable theatre experience that sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t.

The show starts with a young Chita Rivera, played by Liana Ortiz, listening to her father play the saxophone. Hearing those notes, she starts to feel the rhythm and moves to the beat as she is experiencing dance for the first time. As the young Chita is dancing, a larger silhouette of a dancer fills a screen behind her, doing the same dance steps as the little girl in front of her. The screen of course lifts to reveal Broadway legend Chita Rivera as a chorus of applause erupts through the audience.

At 72 years old, Chita Rivera still commands the undivided attention of her audience and it isn’t simply because of her legendary Broadway career. Chita still has that spark that all great performers have. Whether you have followed her career since her Broadway debut in 1953’s Can Can or you are getting your first taste of her in The Dancer’s Life there is no doubt that you are watching someone special. While Chita’s high kicks may not be as high as they used to be and her voice may not be quite as steady as it once was she is still an incredible dancer and a force of nature on stage.

They gave us all the staple songs that we expect in a Chita revue. “Dance at the Gym”, “Somewhere”, “Big Spender”, “Nowadays”, “Kiss of the Spider Woman”, “Chief Cook & Bottlewasher” and of course “All That Jazz” and “A Boy Like That.” We also got a few songs that aren’t as well known. “Camille, Colette, Fifi” from Seventh Heaven and “Garbage” from The Shoestring Review were the most memorable. There was also a very nice homage to her West Side Story days.

There were some great moment lines in the show. My favorite was the following regarding Elaine Stritch: “I was terrified of her. I still am. Tell the truth, aren’t you?” For the most part, the stories that Chita shared during the show were interesting and fun but at times I couldn’t help but thinking that I was getting an extremely watered down version of some of these tales. While I didn’t expect her to give us all the private details of her life, I would have liked to hear a bit more about her relationships with Gwen Verdon and Liza Minelli.

Gwen Verdon did have her own special moment in the show when Chita performed "Nowadays" to end act 1. As in the original choreography for Chicago, the number was performed in front of a shimmering backdrop. Just like in 1975, both Chita and Gwen were given their own spot light. That simple ode to Gwen Verdon was very touching and even the bow of the spot light at the end which could’ve come across as very cheesy worked for me and gave me chills.

The two original songs in the show by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty are “Dancing on the Kitchen Table” which takes place early in the show, and “A Woman the World Has Never Seen Before” which takes place just before the finale. They are both very effective songs despite having weak lyrics.

The ensemble is quite good with two stand out performers in Richard Amaro, who has a fantastic tango sequence with Chita to open Act II and Allyson Tucker who was just an amazing presence on stage.

Where as I found the first act to be very captivating, the 2nd act seemed less cohesive to me and in general wasn’t as polished as the 1st. It could be tightened up a bit.

My biggest complaint about the entire show was the fact that it teases us with "All That Jazz" from the beginning and then was done in a shortened version with the Chita and “Young Chita” doing the original choreography. The ensemble did come out towards the end of the song, but I would have preferred the entire number. It just seemed wrong in a show that spent so much time praising the life of a gypsy.

Despite its faults, Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life was an extremely fun night at the theatre and I recommend taking the opportunity to see this Broadway legend talk about her career, poke a little fun at herself and remind everyone that even the biggest stars started as a gypsy and anything is possible.

The Audience:
As I expected at a Saturday matinee, most of the audience in attendance was senior citizens. Except of course the guy who sat directly beside my wife and and I who we dubbed “SuperOverEnthusiasticClappingGuyExpialaDocious”. Seriously, this guy was EXTREMELY exited about Chita.

We also had a girl behind me during the show that I have assumed stumbled into the wrong theatre. She left at intermission, but that is to be expected considering she had finished her lunch and cell phone conversation by the end of Act I.

All in all, the BlueHairGroup was very into the show and I think it’s going to do very well with that demographic on Broadway.

The Drive:
It’s already been alluded to in this thread. Oy Vey. 5 hours to get from San Diego to the Valley is simply evil. I love USC, but that traffic was unjust. re: My thread for Patronus because we all know he's seen Chita, where's the



Updated On: 11/6/05 at 04:50 PM
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Great review, Pat! Thanks for sharing with us. re: My thread for Patronus because we all know he's seen Chita, where's the Sounds like it was a good experience, except for the traffic.
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Hmmmm.... I couldn't decide whether to go to this or not while I'm in New York, but I trust Patronus and will now try to go!
Be the change you want in the world....
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If you are a fan of Chita or even Broadway history you'll enjoy it.

Although, I am really glad that I didn't use up a "show slot" on my upcoming trip to see it. It really depends on what you'd be giving up to see it I think.

I enjoyed it and recommmend it, but at the same time and think that everyone in NY that goes to the theatre often should see it. Since you have limited time like I do, I'd really think about weighing it against what you'd be missing though.

Of course, as you know Kel, I am a notorious over thinker/planner.

Oh, I forgot to mention that I did stand by the stage door for about 20 minutes and Chita didn't come out so I didn't get to do the stage door thing.
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"Gwen Verdon did have her own special moment in the show when Chita performed "Nowadays" to end act 1. As in the original choreography for Chicago, the number was performed in front of a shimmering backdrop. Just like in 1975, both Chita and Gwen were given their own spot light. That simple ode to Gwen Verdon was very touching and even the bow of the spot light at the end which could’ve come across as very cheesy worked for me and gave me chills."

I got chills just thinking about that!

I am preparring a lemon potpourri for my tribute to Joe Brooks.
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YAY! What a great review. Thanks for sharing... I'll have to collect my thoughts before I write mine about City of Angels, but I warn you it wont be anywhere as long as yours.
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Well, after getting a thread created specifically for a review, I figured that I had a certain amount of hype to live up to.

Glad I succeeded on some level. re: My thread for Patronus because we all know he's seen Chita, where's the
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Thanks, BSoBW2!

Another moment in the show where I got chilled that I had forgotten about:

"and I think it's about time to give somethign back" ::All that Jazz intro music starts playing::

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Wonderful review Patronus.

Makes it sound it was well worth the traffic hell on the way back.

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Marvelous review Patronus. I am quite excited about the show now. (I had been very aprenhensive.)
It gives me chills to think of the history.

(On a side note I really want to see Stritch at the Carlyle but can't bring myself to drop the $, I keep feeling I may have to do it though.)

As a notorious over-planner/thinker it always makes me happy to see someone else do the same. re: My thread for Patronus because we all know he's seen Chita, where's the
I stand corrected, you are as vapid as they say.