'Hurst hosts 'Evening with Chita Rivera'


The Mercyhurst Theatre Program, in conjunction with the Mercyhurst Dance Department, invites the Erie community to “An Evening with Chita Rivera” on Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 8 p.m. in the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center. 

Rivera will discuss her legendary career – in the style of “Inside the Actors Studio”– with Brett D. Johnson, director of the theatre program. The event is free and open to the public.

Earlier in the day, Rivera will meet with Mercyhurst theatre, dance and music students. “It will be a unique opportunity for our students to interact with a legend,” Johnson says. “Chita Rivera is American musical theatre.”

An accomplished and versatile actress/singer/dancer, Rivera has worked with many of musical theatre’s greatest artists, including Leonard Bernstein, Jerome Robbins, John Kander, Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse. Her electric performance as Anita in the original Broadway production of West Side Story brought her stardom. She went on to create the iconic roles of Rosie in Bye Bye Birdie, opposite Dick van Dyke, and Velma Kelly in Chicago, opposite Gwen Verdon.

Nominated for nine Tony Awards, she has won twice for her roles in The Rink and Kiss of the Spider Woman.

Rivera received the coveted Kennedy Center Honor in 2002 – the first Hispanic ever chosen to receive this award – and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.

She celebrated her 80th birthday earlier this year by appearing in “Chita: A Legendary Celebration,” a one-night only performance to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Rivera’s visit to Mercyhurst is supported in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, as well as the Pennsylvania Humanities Council and the Mercyhurst Office of Academic Affairs.

No tickets or reservations are required for "An Evening with Chita Rivera." For more information, contact Dr. Brett D. Johnson at 824-2663.

Photo by Laura Marie Duncan

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