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Rivera, Chita (1933—)

Rivera, Chita (1933—)

One of the musical theater's most durable personalities, Chita Rivera is revered as an actress, singer, and dancer. Her first major role was as Anita in West Side Story (1957). Other Broadway credits include Bye Bye Birdie (1960), Chicago (1975), The Rink (1983), and Kiss of the Spider Woman (1993). She has received numerous accolades for her work, including Tony Awards for The Rink and Kiss of the Spider Woman; the Drama Desk Award for The Rink; and top honors at the 1996 Helen Hayes Awards for contributions to theater. Her film credits include Sweet Charity (1969) and Pippin (1981). Possessing a voice with a wide dynamic and timbral range, Rivera's talent and charisma both as a singer and a dancer have allowed her to enjoy a successful and diverse stage career for over 40 years.

—William A. Everett

Further Reading:

Sandla, Robert. "Chita Rivera: Now Is the Gleam in the Eye." Dance Magazine. Vol. 68, No. 2, 1994, 76-81.

Telgen, Diane, and Jim Kamp, eds. Latinas!: Women of Achievement. Detroit, Visible Ink Press, 1996.

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