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Chita Rivera to appear at Mercyhurst Sept. 16

Friday, September 2, 2016

“You leave this show walking on air!” – The New York Times

Come celebrate the one and only Broadway legend Chita Rivera in a unique solo concert event, coming to the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center at Mercyhurst University on Friday, Sept. 16 at 7:30 p.m. The incomparable Tony Award winner will recreate signature moments from her legendary career, including numbers from West Side StorySweet CharityChicagoKiss of the Spider WomanBye Bye BirdieThe Rink, and The Visit. In addition to a special tribute to her dear friends John Kander & Fred Ebb, the timeless music of Leonard Bernstein, Charles Strouse, Jerry Herman and Stephen Sondheim will be featured, accompanied by her long-time band conducted by Michael Croiter.

A theatrical icon and one of Broadway's greatest triple-threat talents, Chita Rivera has won two Tony Awards as Best Leading Actress in a Musical and received eight additional nominations for an exceptional 10 Tony Award nominations. She recently starred in The Visit, the final John Kander/Fred Ebb/Terrence McNally musical, directed by John Doyle and choreographed by Graciela Daniele, on Broadway following the acclaimed production at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in the summer of 2014. She starred in the Broadway revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood; the Broadway and touring productions of The Dancer’s Life, a dazzling new musical celebrating her spectacular career, written by Terrence McNally and directed by Graciela Daniele; and the revival of the Broadway musical Nine with Antonio Banderas.

Rivera trained as a ballerina from age 11 before receiving a scholarship to the American School of Ballet from the legendary George Balanchine. Her first appearance, at age 17, was as a principal dancer in Call Me Madam. Her electric performance as Anita in the Broadway premiere of West Side Story brought her stardom, which she repeated in London. Her career is highlighted by starring roles in Bye Bye BirdieThe Rink (Tony Award), ChicagoJerry’s GirlsKiss of the Spider Woman (Tony Award), and the original Broadway casts of Guys and Dolls, Can-Can, Seventh Heaven andMr. Wonderful. On tour: Born Yesterday, The Rose Tattoo, Call Me Madam, Threepenny Opera, Sweet Charity, Kiss Me Kate, Zorba, andCan-Can with The Rockettes. 

Rivera was awarded The Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in August 2009. She received the coveted Kennedy Center Honor in Washington, D.C., in December 2002 and is the first Hispanic woman ever chosen to receive this award. In 2015, Great Performances aired their special Chita Rivera: A Lot of Livin’ To Do, a retrospective of her extraordinary life and career, nationally on PBS. Her current solo CD is entitled And Now I Swing.

“Chita Rivera has a gleam in her eye, a smirk on her lips and a bounce in her step…you leave this show walking on air!” – The New York Times

“Chita Rivera is more than a musical theatre star. She’s a force of nature.” – Associated Press

“Chita Rivera is irresistible!” – Newsweek

“Shimmering show-biz perfection.” – Los Angeles Times

“Ever-riveting! Chita Rivera has the rare presence of a thoroughbred star!” – USA Today

“Chita Rivera is a wonder to behold.” – Wall Street Journal

Come sing along with the extraordinary Chita Rivera in CHITA: A LEGENDARY CELEBRATION on Friday, Sept. 16 @ 7:30 p.m. in the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center at Mercyhurst University.

Tickets are: $30 adults, $25 seniors, and $20 for students and youth.

A limited number of V.I.P packages are also available. The $50 ticket includes a premium seat and a reception with Ms. Rivera following the performance.

For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit or call 814-824-3000. The box office is open Monday-Friday from noon-5 p.m.

(PHOTO by Laura Marie Duncan)