The League of Professional Theatre Women will present the final Oral History event of their 2017-18 season with two-time Tony Award winner Chita Rivera on Monday, May 7, starting at 6pm in the Bruno Walter Auditorium at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Admission to the event is free and seats are available on a first-come-first-seated basis. Doors will open at 5:30pm.
Oral History, founded and run for many years by Betty Corwin (who recently resigned after decades producing the program) and currently produced by cochairs Pat Addiss and Sophia Romma, is an ongoing program of the League of Professional Theatre Women, in partnership with the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, which chronicles and documents the contributions of significant theater women in all fields. Annually, the legacies of three theater women are preserved through the Oral History program, in which female theater luminaries are interviewed by the interviewer of their choice and they discuss their life and career before a live audience. The tapes are then housed in New York Public Library for the Performing Arts video archives. Rivera will talk about her life and illustrious career with Richard Ridge, host of Backstage with Richard Ridge.
The League of Professional Theatre Women's Oral History events have previously featured interviews with notable women including Daryl Roth, Phylicia Rashad, Frances McDormand, Billie Allen, Paula Vogel, Laura Linney, Baayork Lee, Patti LuPone, Carmen De Lavallade, Tyne Daly, Bebe Neuwirth, Mercedes Ruehl, Kia Corthron, Christine Ebersole, and many others.
Rivera's Broadway career began when she joined the cast of the original Guys and Dolls as a dancer. She has been nominated for 10 Tony Awards and won Lead Actress in a Musical in 1984 for The Rink and in 1993 for Kiss of the Spider Woman. Other Broadway credits include West Side Story, Bye Bye Birdie, Chicago, Nine, and The Visit, for which she earned her most recent Tony nomination in 2015. Along with composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, she will receive the 2018 Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre at this year's ceremony, to be held June 10 at Radio City Music Hall.