At the New Dramatists 57th Annual Benefit Luncheon, Chita Rivera is honored with the company's 2006 Career Achievement Award. Each year, New Dramatists salutes an individual who has made an outstanding artistic contribution to the American theatre. Chita Rivera began training as a ballerina at age 11, and shortly thereafter won a scholarship from George Balanchine where she took class with the likes of Edward Villella and Melissa Hayden. But not too long after that ballet lost and Broadway gained the 17 year old who would make theatre history. Chita Rivera's rich and varied Broadway career is highlighted by starring performances in West Side Story, Bye Bye Birdie, Chicago, as well as The Rink, Kiss of the Spiderwoman, and Jerry's Girls. The luncheon begins with a champagne reception at 11:15 am and ends at 2:30 pm.