You only turn eighty once, so Tony Award winner Chita Rivera (The Mystery of Edwin Drood) is doing it in grand style, complete with high kicks. The soon-to-be octogenarian and Broadway icon will appear in Chita: A Legendary Celebration, a one-night-only benefit concert for Broadway Cares, on Monday, October 7 at a Broadway Theater to be announced.
Rivera's actual birthday is this coming Wednesday, January 23, but she'll be too busy performing in The Mystery of Edwin Drood at Studio 54 (two-show Wednesday!) to do anything else that day. The October 7 event will have to be something closer to a half-birthday.
The show will be directed by Tony Award winner Graciela Daniele (the original Edwin Drood, The Rink with Rivera), with music direction by Michael Croiter. In addition, this grand celebration will also include the publication of a limited-edition coffee table book and a documentary about Rivera. VIP tickets and sponsorship packages are now available. General ticketing will be announced July 2.
Rivera, who was profiled in the latest edition of TM Magazine, is the winner of two Tony Awards for Kiss of the Spider Woman and The Rink. She's been nominated seven more times on top of that. She was the original Velma Kelly in Chicago for Fosse's sake! She's basically a living legend, so it's fair to assume that everyone who's anyone on Broadway will turn out for this event, which benefits Broadway's favorite charity.
"Since our earliest days in the late 1980s, Chita Rivera has been one of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS great champions, a true and loyal friend," says BC/EFA executive director Tom Viola. And he's not lying. She recently took time out of her busy performance schedule to appear in this video for the organization that was posted to YouTube just last week:
If eighty-year-old Chita Rivera can perform eight shows a week and still find time to raise money for people living with HIV/AIDS, can't you at least buy a ticket?