Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life

  • Date:
    December 1, 2005


    Book by: Terrence McNally.
    Music and lyrics by: Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty
    Directed and choreographed by: Graciela Daniele
    Cast: Chita Rivera, Liana Ortiz, Richard Amaro, Cleve Asbury, Lloyd Culbreath, Jasmine Perri, Madeleine Kelly, Malinda Farrington, Edgard Gallardo, Deirdre Goodwin, Richard Montoya, Lainie Sakakura, Alex Sanchez and Allyson Tucker.
    Synopsis: As an aspiring 17-year-old ballerina, Chita Rivera decided to accompany a friend to an audition for the chorus of Call Me Madam without any serious intention of pursuing a part in the show. Jerome Robbins took one look, cast her as a principal dancer, and the rest is theatre history.

    What the critics had to say.....

    BEN BRANTLEY of the NEW YORK TIMES:
    �Ms. Rivera may keep the blinds drawn on her innermost self. But she continues to wear her heart in her performing style. "The Dancer's Life" is not, sad to say, an electric show. But it cannot disguise the electricity of the woman at its center. Intended as a setting for a glittering ruby of a star, the production elements often dim rather than enhance Ms. Rivera's natural incandescence. Never entirely, though. Which means that "The Dancer's Life" remains a must-have ticket for aficionados of the American musical."

    CLIVE BARNES of THE NEW YORK POST:
    "Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life" starring � there could hardly be an understudy unless Philip Seymour Hoffman wanted to volunteer � the 72-year-old Rivera in the still-astounding flesh, is a sweetheart of a show. This ardent love letter to one of the theater's adored divas is also an invitation to her multitude of fans to take a visit with her and enjoy a far from simply nostalgic stroll down a lane called Broadway. But, to be honest, it's not that much more. For many � and I am among Dolores Conchita Figueroa del Rivero's most happily fluttering fans � it ought to be enough. The less committed should beware."

    HOWARD KISSEL of THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS:
    "A fitting tribute to a shining star."

    LINDA WINER of NEWSDAY:
    "Chita Rivera has worked with the best of the best in the dance-driven American musical. Now she is playing her amazing self in the meandering but irresistible showcase. She also has great focus, which, oddly enough, is the missing ingredient in Terrence McNally's enjoyable but haphazardly organized book and Graciela Daniele's stylish and loving but occasionally padded production."

    MICHAEL KUCHWARA of THE ASSOCIATED PRESS:
    That enthusiasm, coupled with unflagging energy in her commitment to song and dance, makes Rivera one of the last of a vanishing breed -- a true theater star.

    External links to full reviews from newspapers

    New York Times
    New York Post
    New York Daily News
    Newsday
    Associated Press