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Two-time Tony Award-Winner Chita Rivera to Perform Songs from Her Legendary Broadway Career May 4 at UB

By David Wedekindt

Release Date: April 1, 2010

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Center for the Arts at the University at Buffalo will present Chita Rivera: My Broadway on May 4 at 8 p.m. in the Mainstage Theatre, Center for the Arts, UB North Campus.

The two-Time Tony Award-winner will perform songs from her legendary Broadway career, accompanied by an 11-piece orchestra, led by musical director Michael Croiter, including numbers from West Side Story ("America"), Sweet Charity ("Where Am I Going?" and "Big Spender"), Chicago ("All That Jazz" and "Nowadays"), Kiss of the Spider Woman, Bye, Bye, Birdie and The Rink, and featuring the music of Leonard Bernstein, John Kander and Fred Ebb, Charles Strouse, Stephen Sondheim and Cy Coleman.

An accomplished and versatile actress, singer and dancer who has won two Tony Awards as best leading actress in a musical (Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Rink), she has received seven additional Tony nominations. Rivera has performed her critically acclaimed concert dates in major cities worldwide. In 2009, she released a new solo studio CD titled And Now I Swing (Yellow Sound label), which pays homage to her stage legacy while also displaying her passion for jazz. From classic theater songs to jazz standards, all tracks featured on this new album have received new arrangements recorded by New York's finest musicians, reimagining some of Chita's favorite tunes.

She recently starred in the Broadway and touring productions of The Dancer's Life, a dazzling new musical celebrating her spectacular career, written by Terence McNally and directed by Graciela Daniele. Last year she recreated her starring role in The Visit, the new Kander/Ebb/McNally musical at the Signature Theatre in Arlington, Va., (originally done at the Goodman Theatre, Chicago in 2001) for which she received the 2009 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Lead Actress. Rivera received The Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama in 2009 and also received the coveted Kennedy Center Honor in Washington, DC, in 2002, and was the first Hispanic ever chosen to receive this award.

She also starred in the revival of the Broadway musical Nine with Antonio Banderas. She trained as a ballerina from age 11 before receiving a scholarship to the American School of Ballet from legendary George Balanchine. Rivera's 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 (1957) brought her stardom, which she repeated in London. Her career is highlighted by starring roles in Bye Bye Birdie, Chicago, Jerry's Girls and (original Broadway casts) Guys and Dolls, Can-Can, Seventh Heaven and Mr. Wonderful. On tour: Born Yesterday, The Rose Tattoo, Call Me Madam, Threepenny Opera, Sweet Charity, Kiss Me Kate, Zorba, Can-Can with The Rockettes.

Broadway programming at the Center for the Arts is sponsored in part by Center for Plastic Surgery.

Tickets for Chita Rivera: My Broadway are $39.50, $31.50 general admission and $25 for students (any school). Tickets are available at the Center for the Arts Box Office from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and at all Ticketmaster locations, including ticketmaster.com. To charge tickets, call 1-800-745-3000; in Canada, call 416-870-8000. For group sales, call 716-645-6771. For more information call 716-645-2787.