The many modes of Chita Rivera

Let’s watch this great dancer/entertainer, Chita Rivera (1933-2024), do her thing in her 2005 show “The Dancer’s Life,” in which she pays homage to her choreographers, Jack Cole, Peter Gennaro, Bob Fosse, and Jerome Robbins. It is a brilliant montage impeccably performed. Rivera found this luminous path to continue to share her gifts well into ...

Divas of our lifetime! Dionne Warwick, Chita Rivera on stage

Dance · Music
stellar ladies of the arts, one singer, one dancer She’s a beloved American cultural icon. She’s beautiful and well preserved. AND she has a new movie, a documentary. Dionne Warwick began singing professionally in 1961. Discovered by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, the marvelous songbird went on to record 18 consecutive Top 100 singles (Don’t ...

Cover girl. The great Chita Rivera.

Dance · Theater
Chita Rivera, DANCE Magazine Nov 1957 West Side Story opened on Broadway in September 1957. By November, DANCE Magazine had a new cover girl.

Chita & ‘chicas’: WSS’s original ‘America’ dance crew 1

Dance · Theater
Chita Rivera out front. Behind, L to R: Carmen Gutierrez, Lynn Ross, Liane Plane (unseen behind Chita), Frances Taylor “Chita was so incredible as Anita,” our friend George Chakiris told the audience when I interviewed him in 2015. He played “Riff” in the London production of West Side Story circa 1958/59. Doing that meant keeping ...

It’s Jack Cole time Tuesday on FX’s ‘Fosse/Verdon’

Dance · Film
Actor Christopher Tocco, above, plays Jack Cole in a backstage scene with the young Gwen Verdon in FX’s blockbuster eight-episode docu-drama, “Fosse/Verdon.” “Fosse/Verdon”‘s backstage scene between Verdon and her mentor Jack Cole is preceded by a Jack Cole jazz number vividly choreographed by “Hamilton” choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler, who is a co-producer of this series. Out with ...

Jack Cole on the Beeb 2

Jack Cole, Chita Rivera, Beale Street Blues It’s correct. The attention given, this past week, to the choreographer Jack Cole at the very moment of the debut of the Fosse/Verdon mini-series on FX. It’s correct because Verdon, a miraculous, one-off entertainer, was nearly a creation of Cole’s. And it’s correct because, basically: no Jack Cole, ...

When Sally gave Marilyn (Monroe) her jazz pants 5

Dance · Fashion
We all remember when Harry met Sally. But what about when Sally gave Marilyn her pair of jazz pants? This happened! A jaw-dropping moment when Sally Goldin told me, “I gave Marilyn Monroe a pair of my jazz pants.” Uh, okay, Sally. That Marilyn? You gave Marilyn Monroe your JAZZ PANTS?? “Oh, yes,” shot Sally ...

Chita Rivera conquers Carnegie Hall

Dance · Music · Reviews · Theater
Holding court in her Carnegie Hall debut Monday evening, Broadway legend Chita Rivera gave gobs of pleasure and a pre-election-day boost to a very well-sold house. Prior to the show, a good many attendees swarmed the 57th Street sidewalk in anticipation of a special evening. In a solo showcase that got by with a little ...

Gwen & Chita’s ‘Nowadays’ better than ours

Dance · Theater
In this yummilicious snippet from the Tony Award broadcast of 1984, Broadway goddesses Chita Rivera and Gwen Verdon deliver a pastiche-pairing of numbers from Bob Fosse’s “Chicago.” Chita electrifies with her song-and-dance forcefulness in “All That Jazz.” But Verdon, joining for “Nowadays,” gives a lesson in subtle upstaging — no easy feat considering her dance ...

Chita Rivera tells it like it is prior to her PBS “Great Performances”

Dance · Theater
A very fun exercise on Thursday’s Facebook had Chita Rivera — Broadway doyenne, empress and icon, a queen of the art of song-and-dance — chattering on line in a PBS-hosted forum with (among others) Grover Dale of Answers4Dancers with whom she performed in the original production of West Side Story. Chita’s words strike me as ...