Chita Rivera: A Lot of Livin' to Do Sizzles onto THIRTEEN's Great Performances Friday, November 6 at 9 p.m. on PBS

Dick Van Dyke, John Kander, Carol Lawrence, Ben Vereen, and other luminaries pay tribute to the dynamic Broadway singer, dancer, and actress

NEW YORK, Sept. 22, 2015 — (PRNewswire) — Anita in "West Side Story." Rosie in "Bye Bye Birdie." Velma in "Chicago." Those are just some of the iconic roles created by the incredible Chita Rivera. The Broadway legend has been lighting up Broadway and international stages for over 70 years. 

"Great Performances" logo, courtesy: WNET New York Public Media

With originating roles in a host of other iconic Broadway shows including "Mr. Wonderful," "The Rink," "Bajour," and "Kiss of the Spider Woman," and major revivals of "Nine," "The Mystery of Edwin Drood," and numerous others, Rivera was also a frequent guest star during the Golden Age of Television variety specials. In 2002, she became the first female honoree of Hispanic-American heritage to be feted at the Kennedy Center Honors, and in 2009, she was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

This past season, Ms. Rivera returned to Broadway's Lyceum Theatre in a Tony-nominated starring role in "The Visit," the final collaboration of the legendary songwriting team of John Kander and the late Fred Ebb with playwright Terrence McNally.   

Chita Rivera: A Lot of Livin' to Do, the 60-minute career retrospectivefeaturing interviews, archival performance footage, and newly filmed songs from Rivera's concert repertoire including such numbers as "A Boy Like That," "America," "A Lot of Livin' to Do," "All That Jazz," and "Nowadays" -- airs on THIRTEEN's Great Performances, Friday, November 6 at 9 p.m. on PBS. (Check local listings.)

The night of the taping, Broadway shows and, indeed, most of New York City shut down in preparation for the blizzard predicted to be one of the City's worst winter storms ever. This did not deter the Broadway icon or her musicians from braving the elements and giving an electrifying performance. Before a packed audience at Jazz at Lincoln Center's The Appel Room in the Time Warner Center, against a winter wonderland backdrop of Central Park and Columbus Circle, the two-time Tony Award winner performs signature moments from her legendary career including a special tribute to her dear friends John Kander, Fred Ebb and Terrence McNally.  

The special celebrating Ms. Rivera's extraordinary career then and now will air as part of the PBS Fall Arts Festival 2015.

In addition to rare archival clips from Chita's many shows and TV appearances, there are newly filmed interviews with John Kander, choreographer Graciele Daniele, The Visit director John Doyle, original "West Side Story" star Carol Lawrence, playwright Terrence McNally, entertainers Dick Van Dyke and Ben Vereen, choreographer Dee Dee Wood, and Chita's daughter, singer, dancer, choreographer Lisa Mordente.

Ms. Rivera is 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.   

Chita Rivera: A Lot of Livin' to Do is a production of THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET.

Chita Rivera: A Lot of Livin' to Do was produced by Richard R. Schilling and directed by David Horn. For Great Performances, Bill O'Donnell is series producer and David Horn is executive producer.

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

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

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.

About PBS Arts Fall Festival

Chita Rivera: A Lot of Livin' to Do from Great Performances is part of the fifth PBS Arts Fall Festival, an eight-week series hosted this fall by Grammy Award-winning international music superstar Gloria Estefan. Friday nights from October 9 to November 27, 2015, the Fall Festival features legendary artists, dazzling musical performances and captivating entertainment, including a UNITY Latin tribute to Michael Jackson's music, and complementary digital content. PBS Arts is a cornerstone of the Friday primetime lineup, reaching more than 15 million viewers last season and underscoring PBS' ongoing commitment to give audiences the best of the arts on-air and online. Most programs will be available online at http://video.pbs.org/ after their broadcast premiere. For more, visit http://pressroom.pbs.org/

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SOURCE WNET

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