Neuwirth earned her first Tony in 1986 for her featured performance in Sweet Charity and her second in 1997 for her performance as Velma Kelly in the revival of Chicago (the role originated by Rivera on Broadway in 1975). Additionally, she received two Emmy Awards for her role as Dr. Lilith Sternin Crane on television's Cheers and reprised her role in the spinoff series Frasier. She presently plays the recurring role of Nadine Tolliver in the CBS series Madam Secretary.
Directed by Randy Skinner (42nd Street, Dames at Sea), the evening will include a performance by the New York City Ballet of "America" from West Side Story Suite to honor Rivera, who originated the role of Anita on Broadway. There will also be performances by Tony nominee Robert Fairchild (An American in Paris) as well as by American Dance Machine for the 21st Century (ADM21), which will execute "We'll Take a Glass Together" from Grand Hotel. Musical numbers from several Broadway shows will be announced shortly.
As previously announced, theater and dance legend Tommy Tune will be presented with the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award at the September 11 ceremony, Diane Paulus will receive the Outstanding Contribution to Musical Theater Award as a director, and Antonio Vendome will receive the Outstanding Contribution to the Arts and Humanities Award.
The mission of the Chita Rivera Awards is to celebrate dance and choreographic excellence. The awards seek to continue that vision by not only celebrating the superb achievement of each nominee but by recognizing the immeasurable talents and passion of every theatrical choreographer and dancer.
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