Chita Rivera – Nowadays – Carnegie Hall, New York

chita-rivera

Chita Rivera and Andy Karl in Nowadays at Carnegie Hall, New York. Picture: Koitz

Chita Rivera performed her show Nowadays at Carnegie Hall, New York.

Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩

Exactly three years after her 80th birthday celebration concert at the Ambassador Theatre, the indomitable Chita Rivera was back on stage for the first time at the legendary Carnegie Hall in front of a packed audience.

This time for her new show aptly titled Nowadays, directed as usual by the great Graciela Daniele, the original star of West Side Story, Bye Bye Birdie and Chicago chose to be surrounded not by her original co-stars, but by artists belonging more to the Broadway of today.

Star of Rocky and Groundhog Day, Andy Karl first met Rivera in the Broadway revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood where they were voted, by audiences, to be ‘lovers’ on many occasions and made ticket buyers blush!

Karl was surely her best leading man of the evening, in the Birdie duets as well as leading on the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus interpretation of ‘Somewhere’ from West Side.

Her second guest, Alan Cumming, was slightly less effective in reprising the Liza Minnelli duets from The Rink, and in ‘Class’ from Chicago, but his past experience with Cabaret created a natural connection to the world of Kander and Ebb.

Javier Muñoz, from Hamilton, made the link with new Broadway, although perhaps we could have done without the rap in the West Side segment.

What we could not have done without however was the amazing four seasoned chorus dancers aptly leading Rivera into such production numbers as ‘Where You Are’ from Kiss of the Spider Woman.

Rivera has always been faithful to her dancers, like the great Richard Amaro, and it showed in the way they shared the stage.

Amazingly, she still managed to dance up a storm to the delight of her adoring audience, treating them to an extensive selection from her last Broadway effort, The Visit – sadly one of her very few flops.

Highlights were many, perhaps the most memorable being her rendition of Jacques Brel’s ‘Carousel’ with solo violin accompaniment.

Long live Rivera, one of the last survivors of Broadway’s Golden Age. May she share with us her energy and talent for many years to come…

Patrick Honoré

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