Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Chita Rivera’s GREAT PERFORMANCES special- ‘A LOT OF LIVIN’ TO DO’ to air in PBS’s Fall Arts Festival 2015

Chita! Photo by Joseph Sinnott/THIRTEEN Productions LLC

Chita!
Photo by Joseph Sinnott/THIRTEEN Productions LLC

Chita Rivera’s GREAT PERFORMANCES special, subtitled ‘A LOT OF LIVIN’ TO DO’, will air as part of PBS’s Fall Arts Festival 2015.

The special combines newly shot performances with a wealth of archival footage and new interviews with colleagues including Dick Van Dyke, John Kander, Carol Lawrence, and Ben Vereen.

THE VISIT star pushed forward with her concert taping earlier this year on January 26, despite the blizzard warnings being trumpeted throughout New York City.

Chita Rivera & Cast of THE VISIT. Photo by Thom Kaine

Chita Rivera & Cast of THE VISIT. Photo by Thom Kaine

I was lucky enough to be front and center in the packed audience of Ms. Rivera’s die-hard fans at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s The Appel Room/ in the Time Warner Center. The two-time Tony Award winner gave us the old razzle dazzle as she performed signature moments from her legendary career including numbers from West Side Story, Sweet Charity, Chicago, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Bye, Bye, Birdie, The Rink and The Visit, along with a special tribute to her dear friends John Kander, Fred Ebb and Terrence McNally. The divine Ms. Rivera was on fire during this truly magical evening of historic proportions, framed by the Appel Room’s picturesque winter wonderland backdrop of Central Park and Columbus Circle.

Jazz at Lincoln Center’s The Appel Room/ in the Time Warner Center in New York on January 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Jazz at Lincoln Center’s The Appel Room/ in the Time Warner Center in New York on January 26, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Ms. Rivera was accompanied by an 11-piece orchestra led by her music director Michael Croiter, and long-time associate music director/pianist Michael Patrick Walker and bassist Jim Donica.

New York City Blizzard Does Not Deter Broadway Icon Chita Rivera From Performing in Concert Taping for THIRTEEN’s Great Performances Series

Chita Rivera and Roger Rees in the Broadway production of The Visit at The Lyceum. Photo by Thom Kaine

Chita Rivera and Roger Rees in the Broadway production of The Visit at The Lyceum. Photo by Thom Kaine

Rivera returned to Broadway this season in THE VISIT, the final musical written by Kander, Ebb and McNally. Co-starring Roger Rees, who passed way tragically this month, the production was directed by John Doyle and choreographed by Graciele Daniele. It closed on June 14th at Broadway’s Lyceum Theatre.

Actors John Riddle, Tom Nelis, Chita Rivera and Michelle Veintimilla perform at'The Visit' Broadway cast performance and CD signing at Barnes & Noble, 86th & Lexington on July 9, 2015 in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang

Actors John Riddle, Tom Nelis, Chita Rivera and Michelle Veintimilla perform at’The Visit’ Broadway cast performance and CD signing at Barnes & Noble, 86th & Lexington on July 9, 2015 in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast of The Visit recently reunited for the release of the original cast recording at Barnes and Noble.

A reunion for the cast of 'The Visit' at 'The Visit' CD signing at Barnes & Noble, 86th & Lexington on July 9, 2015 in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang

A reunion for the cast of ‘The Visit’ at ‘The Visit’ CD signing at Barnes & Noble, 86th & Lexington on July 9, 2015 in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang

Photos and Video: ‘The Visit’ Broadway cast performance and CD signing at Barnes & Noble with Chita Rivera, John Kander, Graciela Daniele and Co. 

The Visit is now the top-selling cast album in the country according to the new Billboard cast recordings chart, available to view here.

Composer John Kander, producer Tom KIrdahy and Actress Chita Rivera attend the 'The Visit' Broadway cast performance and CD signing at Barnes & Noble, 86th & Lexington on July 9, 2015 in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang

Composer John Kander, producer Tom KIrdahy and Actress Chita Rivera attend the ‘The Visit’ Broadway cast performance and CD signing at Barnes & Noble, 86th & Lexington on July 9, 2015 in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang

Actress Chita Rivera attends 'The Visit' Broadway cast performance and CD signing at Barnes & Noble, 86th & Lexington on July 9, 2015 in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang

Actress Chita Rivera attends ‘The Visit’ Broadway cast performance and CD signing at Barnes & Noble, 86th & Lexington on July 9, 2015 in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang

Rivera has been honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom and recognized as part of the Kennedy Center Honors. The actress has won two Tony Awards, one for KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN and the other for THE RINK. Among her other Broadway credits are THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD, THE DANCER’S LIFE, NINE, JERRY’S GIRLS and more.

Visit Great Performances Online at www.pbs.org/gperf for additional information about this and other programs.

Major support for Great Performances is provided by the Irene Diamond Fund, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, The Agnes Varis Trust, The LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, The Starr Foundation, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, and PBS.

About WNET

As New York’s flagship public media provider and the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to over 5 million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in educational programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series as Get the Math, Oh Noah! and Cyberchase and provides tools for educators that bring compelling content to life in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams and MetroFocus, the multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. WNET is also a leader in connecting with viewers on emerging platforms, including the THIRTEEN Explore App where users can stream PBS content for free.

www.chitarivera.com

Lia Chang

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon and Taxman. She has guest starred on “One Life to Live,” “As the World Turns,” and “New York Undercover.” She is profiled in Jade Magazine.

Related articles:

Welsh Actor and Director Roger Rees, a Tony, Olivier and Obie Winner Best Known Nicholas Nickleby, Cheers and most recently, The Visit, Dies at 71
Two-Time Tony Award Winner Chita Rivera and company signing CDs of THE VISIT after live performance at Barnes and Noble on July 9
The Visit starring Chita Rivera to end run at Lyceum on June 14
The Curious Incident Of the Dog in the Nighttime, An American in Paris, The King and I, You Can’t Take It With You and Chita Rivera among Drama League Award Winners 
Two-Time Tony Award Winner Chita Rivera, Broadway Producer Daryl Roth, Graciela Daniele, Lisa D’Amour, Deirdre O’Connell, Shakina Nayfack, Boo Killebrew, Quincy Tyler Bernstein to be honored at the 6th Annual Lilly Awards on June 1 
Hamilton leads 2015 Drama Desk Awards Nominations with 13, along with An American in Paris, Something Rotten!, The Visit, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
2014-15 Outer Critics Circle Award Nominations; Something Rotten!, On the Twentieth Century, An American in Paris garner most nods
Two-Time Tony Award Winner Chita Rivera, Broadway Producer Daryl Roth, Graciela Daniele, Lisa D’Amour, Deirdre O’Connell, Shakina Nayfack, Boo Killebrew, Quincy Tyler Bernstein to be honored at the 6th Annual Lilly Awards on June 1 
AN AMERICAN IN PARIS AND FUN HOME Lead 2015 Tony Award Nominations with 12 each; Ken Watanabe, Ruthie Ann Miles, Kelli O’Hara, Chita Rivera, Bradley Cooper, Kristin Chenoweth, Bill Nighy, Helen Mirren, Elisabeth Moss, Carey Mulligan, Ruth Wilson, K. Todd Freeman, Patricia Clarkson Among the Nominees
81st Annual Drama League Awards Nominations
Hamilton leads 2015 Drama Desk Awards Nominations with 13, along with An American in Paris, Something Rotten!, The Visit, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time 
Tony Award Winners Chita Rivera and Roger Rees, Jason Danieley, Mary Beth Peil, David Garrison & More Begin Previews in Terrence McNally’s THE VISIT on March 26 
New York City Blizzard Does Not Deter Broadway Icon Chita Rivera From Performing in Concert Taping for THIRTEEN’s Great Performances Series

Dec. 31: Chita Rivera Ushers in 2014 at 54 Below, Profiled on CBS Sunday Morning

Other articles by Lia Chang
BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA Cast Reunion featured in BLACK BELT MAGAZINE August/September 2015
#AAIFF2015: 11th Annual 72 Hour Shootout World Premiere Film Screening at Village Cinema East, Wrap Party and Red Carpet Awards Ceremony at The Azure on July 25 
July 25-26: #AAIFF2015 Spotlight on Arthur Dong- Screenings of THE KILLING FIELDS OF HAING S. NGOR and FORBIDDEN CITY, U.S.A, plus an on-stage conversation
André De Shields in CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P., Black Stars of the Great White Way anniversary concert at NBTF and Broadway-Bound GOTTA DANCE 
Q & A with Jose Llana, the new King of Siam in LCT’s Tony Award-Winning Revival of The King and I
Drumhead Magazine: Living Colour Drummer Will Calhoun, Photos by Lia Chang  
Photos: #EmptyMet Tour with Chief Digital Officer Sree Sreenivasan
China: Through the Looking Glass Exhibition Extended through September 7 at Metropolitan Museum
Photos:Lunch with Tony Winner Lea Salonga and George Takei, Stars of ALLEGIANCE
Behind the Scenes of the Asian American Film Lab’s 72 Hour Shootout with Lia Chang, Garth Kravits, Evan Daves and Alicia Manns in HIDE AND SEEK
Photos: The 11th Annual 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Launch Party at The Korea Society; TWO FACES is this year’s theme 
Photos: Traveling through the mouth of the Dragon with BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA’s James Hong, Peter Kwong, Lia Chang, Gerald Okamura, George Cheung, Al Leong, Jeff Imada, James Lew, Gary Goldman, Eric Lee 
Coming to America through The Angel Island Immigration Station
Crafting a Career

Click here  for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.
All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2015 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

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