The Broadway stars regularly sang and talked about their careers as part of this season’s “Broadway @” series in Provincetown, which continues through September. Next up is the legendary Chita Rivera, who chats with Sirius XM’s Seth Rudetsky about her long and illustrious career. See our interview with her below.
For other shows (so many!) on Cape Cod stages, check out our website at https://www.capecodtimes.com/entertainment for reviews of recently opened shows that include “An American in Paris” at Cape Playhouse ; “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Twelfth Night” by the Cape Cod Shakespeare Festival in Chatham; “Assassins”, by College Light Opera Company; “Gary, a Sequel to Titus Andronicus” at the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre; “Jerker” at the Provincetown Theater; “Mame” at Chatham Drama Guild; “Mary Poppins” at the Playhouse Academy; “Victor/Victoria” at the Cotuit Center for the Arts; “The Ballad of Bobby Botswain” at Harbor Stage Company; and “Mamma Mia!” at the Cape Rep Theater in Brewster.
Read reviews:Outdoor comedy, musical magic and Shakespeare: What our reviewers thought of 9 Cape Cod theater shows
And here are some more upcoming shows:
Children play rock
Young actors who can also play instruments will have a chance to shine when the Cape Cod Theater Company/Harwich Junior Theater presents the regional premiere of the musical ‘School of Rock’. Based on the 2003 film, the show tells the story of a musician who, after being kicked out of his rock band, becomes an unconventional substitute teacher and turns his students into their own rock band. Shows are at 7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, August 5 through August 28. Ticketing and information: https://capecodtheatrecompany.org/.
For another show focused on talented children, Cape Cod Kids on Broadway will present the musical “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” about a group of kids who don’t always compete for the best spelling prize, at 19 ‘o clock. 4-7 at Barnstable Comedy Club, 3171 Main St. (Route 6A). Tickets: $10 at the door; http://www.capecodkidsonbroadway.com/.
Back to the story
Falmouth’s College Light Opera Company wraps up its production of Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Assassins’ this weekend, the musical tale of violent political turmoil in America’s past that comes with a warning about adult and disturbing content and the assurance that all the weapons on stage are fake and the shots are sound effects. See our review online at https://www.capecodtimes.com/entertainment. Next, from August 9-13, CLOC will stage the musical “The Scarlet Pimpernel,” Frank Wildhorn’s adaptation of Baroness Orczy’s 1905 novel that follows an English fop as he transforms into a musical artist. quick-thinking escape in order to save the victims of Madame Guillotine in revolutionary France. Information on all shows: http://www.collegelightoperacompany.com/.
Chita Rivera back in Provincetown
Dancer/singer/actress Chita Rivera is 70 — yes, 70 — of Broadway and stories to tell, but says she has no idea which ones she’ll be telling when she returns to Cape Cod on Sunday to a show at Provincetown City Hall.
That’s largely because his stage partner, piano accompanist and musical director Seth Rudetsky, loves surprises.
Rivera, 89, will return with Rudetsky for another round of the XM Sirius Radio star’s song-and-speech combination on producer Mark Cortale’s “[email protected]” series. And Rivera says she honestly doesn’t know in advance exactly what’s going to happen because Rudetsky has an encyclopedic knowledge of Broadway, “there’s nothing he can’t play,” and he’s doing his homework. .
“I often wonder where he gets his information from, but he dives into your past and something comes out,” she laughs, “so he must have something up his sleeve for him to want to talk to me. .. It’s a surprise to me and it’s a great way for him to hold his night He’s in control and he knows what he’s doing (the surprise aspect) keeps you aware and on top of your game.”
She says she likes performing with Rudetsky because the shows “are always fun because Seth is fun. He’s so knowledgeable, he knows his stuff, and he likes to work with laughter. … It’s kind of a happy conversation.
More to come:‘Most ambitious lineup’ yet: Audra McDonald and Chita Rivera headline summer of over 40 stars at Provincetown’s Art House, Town Hall
Rivera assumes the program will cover songs she is most famous for and shows that audiences are familiar with. But with this Broadway legend aptly described, that still leaves a very long list.
Rivera has won two Tony Awards for Best Leading Actress, for “Kiss of the Spider Woman” and “The Rink”, a Tony for Lifetime Achievement and she has been nominated for seven more. Among her 18 Broadway shows, she created the iconic musical roles of Anita in “West Side Story,” Rosie in “Bye Bye Birdie,” and Velma in “Chicago,” and first performed a show about her career ( written by Terrence McNally): “Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life” in 2005.
She appeared in the original casts of “Guys and Dolls,” “Can Can,” Seventh Heaven, “Mr. Wonderful,” “Jerry’s Girls” and more. In 2002, she received the Kennedy Center Honor (the first Latina to achieve this award) and in 2009, Rivera received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama. Viewers watched her this summer on the Tony Awards program and at the Independence Day celebration. “At Capitol Fourth”.
A story “worth publishing”
Of its most famous roles, “West Side Story” has had the most recent revival. It happened with both a 2020 Broadway revival and last year’s acclaimed Steven Spielberg film adaptation of the musical that turns Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ into a clash between two rival street gangs. 1950s, one white and the other largely Puerto Rican. The film won Ariana DeBose an Oscar as Anita – the same role that made Rivera a Broadway star in 1957 and for which composer Leonard Bernstein taught the talented dancer to sing.
Asked about the film bringing the story to a new generation, Rivera said, “If you’re lucky enough to be part of a wonderful story, a wonderful score, (with) wonderful choreography, why not shouldn’t she live forever? And why shouldn’t a younger generation flourish there? … The story is worth publishing.
This week:Woods Hole Film Festival will host over 100 filmmakers in person, find out why they’re so excited
She says she’s glad the musical is being shared in another way, but laments that racial unrest is still a story that needs to be told in 2022. And while praising Spielberg’s filmmaking skills, Rivera acknowledges that she’s personally a fan of seeing “West Side Story” live in a theater.
“It becomes real. I think with the film, it becomes a bit more… a dream. There seems to be a separation between the audience and the film as opposed to the audience and the theatre.
Rivera also preferred to be back in a live experience for this year’s Tony ceremony (hosted by DeBose). Following the COVID-19 shutdowns, Rivera said, “Oh my God – greeting each other and breathing the same air, sharing and listening to this music live, you can’t beat that.”
Asked about his busy schedule of appearances at this point in his life, Rivera counters that a busy schedule is what a typical Broadway actor does for eight shows a week. Two or three shows a week, it’s not that much. “He does what you do. And I do and I love it. It’s my breath, it’s my breath. It’s just wonderful to share something close to your heart. What else is there if there is no sharing of emotion between human beings?
One way Rivera honors other artists who share their emotions with audiences is through the Chita Rivera Awards for Professional Dancers. She started learning to dance as a child and says she considers herself a dancer first – always. ”The singing came later, and the acting came later. And it came out of necessity. I did a show and I had to sing it for Leonard Bernstein. And before you know it, I was learning from Stephen Sondheim, so you never know what you’re going to encounter. You have to leave yourself open.
What Rivera is looking forward to is hitting the road again in September, from Pittsburgh, with her own cabaret show singing songs and telling stories from her long and groundbreaking career. The nightclub act was originally set up by longtime collaborators McNally and composer John Kander, writer/lyricist Fred Ebb – who she calls her “two lifesavers”.
“I just explore my life through their music. I tell stories about my experiences with them and I got to know myself that way,” she says. “I didn’t know myself very well. You always need someone looking, the outside looking in, and someone you trust and I trusted. They knew who I was more than I knew myself. … It’s a gift (to have friends like that) and (people) should be open to that.
To see Chita Rivera
When: 6:30 p.m. Sunday, August 7
Where: Provincetown City Hall, 260 Commercial St.
Tickets: $75 to $200 for VIP seating with Meet and Greet
Reservations and information: https://provincetownarthouse.com/