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The Visit- meeting Chita :-)

sjw322@hotmail.com
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The Visit- meeting Chita :-)#1
Posted: 5/24/08 at 4:19am
Hi, I'm new here... and I just had to share my experience, because This past evening I spent 3 hours living a dream as I watched Chita Rivera in the Visit, In Arlington at the Signature theater...
First of all, Chita Rivera is the biggest inspiration in my life. Everyone is always amazed by her performances and knows that she is THE epitome of musical theater GODDESS... but my admiration for her goes much deeper than that, as I'm sure others could say the same. Of course, like everybody else, my absolute dream is to be on the stage, and be able to make a career out of it! But I also, at this point in my life, have done and am doing so much investigating into who I am and who I want to aspire to be and as far as I'm concerned, Chita Rivera embodies it all. She is an incredible human being. THe very first time I saw her perform something in a clip on youtube, I was mesmirized by her performance, and as I began to watch interviews with her, I realized that this woman was the real deal. She is a totally genuine human being, someone that is completely aware of beauty in life and the amazing spirit that embodies her. She is so open and honest, and when you see her, or listen to her, she's giving it all she's got, professionally and personally.
I am totally and completely AMAZED by her. So when I read about her going to Virginia to do The Visit, I knew I had to go. I'm from Upstate New York so I bought the tickets, booked a hotel room and drove down to Virginia yesterday morning. I spent a good amount of money, and I couldn't help but worry if it was going to be worth it... well, It was...
As I watched this show, and saw this woman... my HERO, on stage... I was in a very surreal space. It was like two worlds clashed together, my idea of what this woman was -from a distance- as a performer and person, and who she actually was, standing right in front of me!
FIRST.. If you haven't planned on seeing this show... YOU MUST! The whole time, though, I felt like I was just watching her on YouTUbe! then, I realized that, I felt like I was watching a video because I wasn't seeing CHITA... I was seeing Claire. She totally enhabits this character so well that you don't even think about the fact that it's Chita Rivera. It was actually quite funny because the only thing that kept reminding me it was her, was that I could hear her talking behind me! (The way the theater is set up, which I would classify as besically Genius, is it's a 3/4 thrust stage and you sit around it on the 3 sides)So... the best part is, aside from the fact that the side rows are only 4 deep, and I was the second seat from the stage, with nobody next to me, and I could smell Chita's perfume as she walked onto the stage, literally 3 feet from me... is that "back stage" was behind me. I was sitting in the 4th row, and she was LITERALLY right behind me. Before the show started, I heard someone clear their throat and I knew it was her... and i turned my friend and said "Oh My GOD... She is right back there." And thats where she went everytime she was off stage. (And when I say behind me, we were seriously back to back... ANYWAYY.. haha)
The surreal experience only became more complex as we stood in the lobby after the show. I should mention, the audience was 99% people over 50, and probably locals, so there wasn't many people who really stayed. But, My friend and I were standing as people started to come out and we realzed that the stage door was right there and came right out into the lobby! So we waited and as we were waiting I noticed a red haired lady, Chita's assistant, I recognized her from pictures, So i knew she was going to come out and sure enough a couple minutes after George Hearn, Chita came out of the door.
When I say surreal, I mean, I saw this woman that I have watched over and over again in everything and anything i could find on the internet, and I was standing right in front of her, watching her talk to the people and I turned to my friend and said, "I feel Like I know her!!" it was unbelievable! There was another boy waiting in front of us and she walked over and talked to him and gave him this huge hug, and my friend looked at me with tears in her eyes. I was trying to stay calm and collected, and my friend who was introduced to the world of Chita through me, was freaking out more than I was!
And as I was looking at Chita, she kept looking at me while she was talking to the boy, and when she approached us, she looked at my friend first, I think because she was displaying the most emotion (I was frozen, haha) and then my friend just said something like "Oh my god.." and just hugged her! and I was like :-O! So then I unfroze myself because I realized my biggest inpiration in life was standing there with my gushing friend, totally unaware that I am completely in love with her... haha.. (and actually my friend is the one thatsaid that to her and I could have died!! lol) but anyway... I did muster up enough courage to talk to her And I hugged her! The Visit- meeting Chita :-) and the truth is, although now I look at it as such a blur, I did feel like I knew her, and I told her that, because that was the only way I could attempt to describe it, to which her reply was, "Well you are more than welcome to come and say Hi to me whenever you'd like"

I love her! and She is so REAL. I look at her, and only after the fact do I realize that I was talking to this person who created Anita, ROsie, Velma, Aroura, and now Claire... She is a living peice of history, who is adored by everybody! Yet, when she's talking to you, you feel like you are the very first person to ever tell her she's "amazing", (as I so eloquently put it.)
But She is exactly who she appears to be. That's what I mean by REAL. THere is nothing forced or phony about her. and I wish I could have freezed her face in my mind,as I looked at her, because I honestly can't remember looking at her, I feel like there was a dark screen over my eyes or something!

Wow... what a first post! If you made it through reading the whole thing, I only hope that everyone can have the experience of seeing this Unbelievable woman on stage.

I also was thinking of writing her a letter, (much eloquent than this!) but I don't know how I would get it to her... so if anyone has any advice on that, I would really appreciate it!
Thank you The Visit- meeting Chita :-)
Updated On: 5/24/08 at 04:19 AM
bwaybabe2
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re: The most AMAZING night of my life...#2
Posted: 5/24/08 at 4:46am
Nice to see you "first" post, sjw322@...(you can "assume" a name around here, don't have to give your e-mail address re: The most AMAZING night of my life...
Welcome! Hope you will have so much experiences to share with us in the coming future!
As far as the letter...try sending it to; Chita Rivera, c/o (whatever name of the production), "stage door" (and write here the theatre name), theatre address.
Good luck, and keep your enthusiasm! re: The most AMAZING night of my life...
LePetiteFromage
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#2
Posted: 5/24/08 at 4:55am
Updated On: 5/5/09 at 04:55 AM
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ray-andallthatjazz86
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re: The most AMAZING night of my life...#3
Posted: 5/24/08 at 5:04am
Did someone see APPLAUSE? re: The most AMAZING night of my life...

Great review, sjw, glad you enjoyed the show. Welcome to the board.
I really hope this transfers.
And couldn't agree with you more re Chita epitomizing musical theatre.

EDIT: You changed the title so now my APPLAUSE joke doesn't make sense...not that it was funny in the first place :)
"Some people can thrive and bloom living life in a living room, that's perfect for some people of one hundred and five. But I at least gotta try, when I think of all the sights that I gotta see, all the places I gotta play, all the things that I gotta be at"
Updated On: 5/24/08 at 05:04 AM
sjw322@hotmail.com
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re: The Visit- meeting Chita :-)#4
Posted: 5/24/08 at 5:04am
Thanks! and as far as my member name... it was an accident, haha... and now I don't know how to fix it. so a pointer there would be wonderful! haha
and yeah... I guess I was too caught up in Chita-land to realize how that title sounded. lol.
Updated On: 5/24/08 at 05:04 AM
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ray-andallthatjazz86
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re: The Visit- meeting Chita :-)#5
Posted: 5/24/08 at 5:09am
Ummm, maybe I'm ignorant but I remember people used to complain about the fact they couldn't change their username so I think you might be stuck with the email (unless you create a new account)......
"Some people can thrive and bloom living life in a living room, that's perfect for some people of one hundred and five. But I at least gotta try, when I think of all the sights that I gotta see, all the places I gotta play, all the things that I gotta be at"
bwaybabe2
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re: The Visit- meeting Chita :-)#6
Posted: 5/24/08 at 6:00am
sjw322...like ray said, just re-register with a new name :]
Once you register, forget about changing your name or password...={
Updated On: 5/25/08 at 06:00 AM
sjw322
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re: The Visit- meeting Chita :-)#7
Posted: 5/24/08 at 9:19am
okay this is me now re: The Visit- meeting Chita :-)
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BrodyFosse123
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re: The Visit- meeting Chita :-)#8
Posted: 5/24/08 at 12:10pm
From 1963, 2 greats: Chita and Jack Cole

re: The Visit- meeting Chita :-)

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bob8rich
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re: The Visit- meeting Chita :-)#9
Posted: 5/24/08 at 12:53pm
Glad you loved "The Visit", sjw322. I saw the first night at the Signature and the show was oustanding - one of K & H's very best, I think. And I agree with you, Chita was amazing.

I also had a seat near the front at the side and I know what you mean about the proximity of Chita and the rest of the cast as they entered and exited. One other event of note on the first night was that about 15 minutes into the show there was a power cut and all the lights went out. Chita was in the middle of a song and she just kept on going without a flinch until the Stage Manager later got up frantically and called on everyone to stop. They had to clear the theatre for about 15 minutes or so to fix the problem and as Chita walked past those of us sitting at the side, she turned and quipped, "Well, that should cure the first night nerves!" She's pretty special.
THEATRE 2019: ASPECTS OF LOVE**** FRANKENSTEIN (Paris)**** AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE**** COMPANY***** [title of show]**** CAN CAN*** THE CEREAL CAFE**** BAD GIRLS**** RAGS***** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** FOLLIES***** ROMANCE ROMANCE****
Updated On: 5/24/08 at 12:53 PM
sjw322
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re: The Visit- meeting Chita :-)#10
Posted: 5/24/08 at 6:39pm
thanks... I just wish I could have sat and talked to her for ever!! haha.. I'm sure she was glad that wasn't the case. LOL. BUt today, we were eating dinner at Johnny Rockets, and who walks in? GEORGE HEARN! Of course we had to go over to him and praise him for the MAGNIFICENT job he did.. and get a little "I love Chita" in there too.. haha. And a picture! He was so sweet, and adores chita as much as everyone else. What a labor of love!
Chevstriss
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re: The Visit- meeting Chita :-)#11
Posted: 5/24/08 at 7:14pm
I've met her a few times and she's always very sweet and easy to talk to. In fact I've never heard anyone say a bad word about her.

I'd sure LOVE to get some dishy gossip about when she was filming the Kojak pilot - playing Marjoe's baby-mama. He was such a newbie I bet he didn't even know he was playing opposite a LEGEND.
I'd fire you... if you weren't so g*dd*mn beautiful out there. - Blades of Glory blog
bwaybabe2
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re: The Visit- meeting Chita :-)#12
Posted: 5/25/08 at 3:32am
sjw322...very cool update :) Is that you in your avatar...?
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uncageg
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re: The Visit- meeting Chita :-)#13
Posted: 5/25/08 at 4:00am
Chita knocked me to the floor at the opening night of "Platinum" in Phila. (Her daughter was in it)in the lobby at intermission. It was the best theatre night of my life!
Just give the world Love.
sjw322
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re: The Visit- meeting Chita :-)#14
Posted: 5/25/08 at 4:38am
yeah that's me! re: The Visit- meeting Chita :-) It was me and my friend was on the other side... I had to crop it, now I have 2 pictures... haha.

and to be knocked down by that little thing? hahahaaa...
bwaybabe2
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re: The Visit- meeting Chita :-)#15
Posted: 5/25/08 at 6:10am
...uhhh...yeah, really, uh? Well, powerful things CAN come in small packages, look at J. Pinkett Smith re: The Visit- meeting Chita :-)
Chevstriss
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re: The Visit- meeting Chita :-)#16
Posted: 5/25/08 at 11:57am
why did she knock you to the floor? had you insulted her daughter's performance?

I remember when her daughter was a backup singer for John Mellancamp, who we called Cougar back then. Cougar now means something else entirely.
I'd fire you... if you weren't so g*dd*mn beautiful out there. - Blades of Glory blog
sjw322
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re: The Visit- meeting Chita :-)#17
Posted: 5/25/08 at 12:25pm
Updated On: 5/25/08 at 12:25 PM
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uncageg
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re: The Visit- meeting Chita :-)#18
Posted: 5/25/08 at 12:42pm
She was coming through the lobby with a bunch of people. I had my back to her and she ran right in to me and I lst my footing and fell. I didn't know what had happened! When I looked up, there she was (In a red kaftan) reaching down to help me up and apologizing. I was like "You can knock me to the floor anytime"! I also had a coke in my hand and she offered to get me another one.
Just give the world Love.
bwaybabe2
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re: The Visit- meeting Chita :-)#19
Posted: 5/26/08 at 5:31am
...talking about getting the attention of your favorite performer, uh?! ;D