The illustrious Chita Rivera illuminated screens around the world with a stream of her one-night-only concert Chita: A Legendary Celebration. The evening, which streamed on May 29, 2020, and benefited Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ COVID-19 relief efforts, raised a spectacular $100,036.
The original concert celebrated Rivera’s birthday in 2013, taking fans through her storied career with fiery performances from West Side Story, Chicago, Bye Bye Birdie, Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Rink, Sweet Charity and more. The evening also featured special performances from Tony Award winners Tommy Tune and Ben Vereen.
The 2013 event presented at the August Wilson Theatre raised $413,660, bringing Chita: A Legendary Celebration‘s extraordinary performance total to $513,696.
The streamed edition featured new interviews with Rivera from her home, conducted remotely by veteran Broadway journalist Richard Ridge, host of Backstage with Richard Ridge on BroadwayWorld.com.
The duo dished about Rivera creating the iconic roles of Anita from West Side Story and Rosie in Bye Bye Birdie, her experiences working with Bob Fosse and Shirley MacLaine on Sweet Charity, her admiration for Tune and more. She also discussed her renowned professional relationship and deep personal friendship with celebrated songwriting team John Kander and Fred Ebb.
“The theater has always been the one place where people can come together and feel free, where they can forget about their problems for a moment,” Rivera told Ridge.
Chita: A Legendary Celebration was originally presented October 7, 2013. It was directed by Graciela Daniele and written by Terrence McNally with music direction by Michael Croiter. Sound design was by Andrew Keister and lighting design by Jeff Croiter. Richard Hester served as production supervisor and Arturo E. Porazzi was production stage manager. Read more about the 2013 event.
Sponsors of the streaming event were Ann Reinking and Rob O’Neill.