School is closing down for a few months, the temperatures are rising quickly, and ice cream becomes the dessert of choice. You know what that means- it’s summertime! For Lyric, summer is a very busy time of year, but also very rewarding. Because our theatre began as a summer stock company, it reminds us of the 49 years of productions that we have produced. It takes us to the Civic Center Music Hall, where we produce huge, Broadway-caliber musicals.
This summer, Lyric is bringing Chita Rivera to perform her one-woman show, CHITA RIVERA: MY BROADWAY at the Civic Center. Let us introduce you to this incredible Broadway legend.
Chita Rivera was born to Puerto Rican parents, and was known as a tomboy for most of her young life. To combat this, her mother enrolled her in dance classes at the age of 11, and Chita’s talent soon became apparent. At the age of 15, Chita was admitted to the prestigious School of American Ballet, where she studied ballet under some of the greats, including Maria Tallchief. Musical theatre, however, would soon come into her life.
At the age of 17, Ms. Rivera went to the audition for the national tour of CALL ME MADAM, in order to support a friend. Chita received an offer to join the ensemble of that tour, which she took. She soon made the leap to Broadway, and danced in shows like CAN-CAN and SEVENTH HEAVEN.
Her career skyrocketed when she took the role of Anita in WEST SIDE STORY. This role propelled Chita to stardom, and she became one of the Broadway elite. Soon after, Chita would star as Rosie Alvarez in BYE BYE BIRDIE.
Chita has since originated roles that have become classics, such as Velma Kelly in CHICAGO and Aurora in KISS OF THE SPIDERWOMAN. Her dancing is still impeccable, and she can also really sing. Check out this video of Chita dancing the “Shriner Ballet” from BYE BYE BIRDIE.
We’re so excited to see her perform live in concert on the Civic Center stage this summer! It’s going to be an incredible experience that is oh-so-rare for us in Oklahoma. You don’t want to miss it.
Sources include www.ChitaRivera.com and www.ibdb.com