Oral History With Chita Rivera @ Bruno Walter Auditorium at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts 5/7/2018

Chita Rivera being interviewed by Richard Ridge. Photo credit: Anna Rodriguez

The words icon, legend, ‘influencer’ (although that’s a new word used for the most mundane web personalities, I feel) are so quickly thrown around these days. But when you are in the presence of a true legend, blown away by their humbleness, beauty (inside and out) and humor, you really realize who is worthy of these titles and who is not.

I got lucky enough to attend an Oral History event with legendary Broadway icon, Chita Rivera, presented by The League of Professional Theatre Women at the Bruno Walter Auditorium at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Monday night. These oral histories are an ongoing program from the League of Professional Theatre Women, in partnership with the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, chronicling the contributions of significant women in all fields. For this night Ms. Rivera answered Richard Ridge’s insightful questions for an hour and smiled, made jokes, lead with her honesty that just made you love the lady even more than how much we all love her already.

There was lots of Broadway name dropping here, as Chita Rivera has high-kicked her way through the most famous of shows, worked with pretty much everyone on the stage and has a memory like a steel trap when it comes to recalling phone calls as much as early dance schooling, as backstage moments. She was so very fun loving and positive and one can see why this lady, at 85 years-of-age and still rockin’ the house with her style, grace and verve, is getting a lifetime achievement Tony award this year.

Nights such as these from The League of Professional Theatre Women are so special, and in this case reminded me just what a legend/icon/influencer Chita Rivera is.

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