The Actors Fund and the Vineyard Theatre have announced details for their upcoming one-night-only benefit concert performance of Kander & Ebb's THE VISIT, starring Broadway stage legends and Tony Award winners Chita Rivera and John Cullum. Directed by Carl Andress with choreography by Tony Award winner Ann Reinking and musical direction by David Loud, the performance will take place on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. at Broadway's Ambassador Theatre (219 West 49th Street), current home to the celebrated revival of Kander & Ebb's worldwide smash Chicago.
THE VISIT is a new musical based on the classic Friedrich Dürrenmatt play (adapted by Maurice Valency) with a book by Terrence McNally, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb. Claire Zachanassian (Rivera) was driven from her hometown in disgrace when she was 17, having been betrayed by her lover Anton Schell (Cullum). Several decades and seven husbands later, Zachanassian has become the richest woman in the world, yet her hometown has fallen on hard times. When Zachanassian returns with an offer to save the town, salvation comes with an outrageous price tag.
THE VISIT had its world premiere at Chicago's Goodman Theatre and was subsequently produced at The Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA. This one-night-only concert event of THE VISIT is sponsored by United Airlines, the New York Marriott Marquis and The New York Times.
Tickets for the one-night-only benefit go on sale to the general public on Monday, October 17. (Tickets are available now for Actors Fund and Vineyard members). Tickets are priced at $500, $250, $150, $100 and are available by calling (212) 221-7300 ext. 133, by emailing email@example.com or by visiting www.actorsfund.org. VIP tickets and sponsorship packages are also available.
Chita Rivera (Claire Zachanassian). An accomplished and versatile actress/singer/dancer, Chita Rivera has won two Tony Awards as Best LeadingActress in a Musical and received seven additional Tony nominations. She recently starred in the Broadway and touring productions of The Dancer's Life, a dazzling new musical celebrating her spectacular career, written by Terrence McNally anddirected by Graciela Daniele. She recreated her starring role in The Visit, the new Kander/Ebb/McNally musical at the Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA (originally done at the Goodman Theatre, Chicago in 2001). She also starred in the revival of the Broadway musical Nine with Antonio Banderas. She trained as a ballerina (from age 11) before receiving a scholarship to the American School of Ballet from legendary George Balanchine. Chita's first appearance (age 17) was in the chorus of Call Me Madam. Her electric performance as Anita in the Broadway premiere of West Side Story (1957) brought her stardom, which she repeated in London. Her career is highlighted by starring roles in Bye Bye Birdie, Chicago, Jerry's Girls and (original Broadway casts) Guys and Dolls, Can-Can, Seventh Heaven and Mr. Wonderful. On tour: Born Yesterday, The Rose Tattoo, Call Me Madam, Threepenny Opera, Sweet Charity, Kiss Me Kate, Zorba, Can-Can with The Rockettes. Chita was awarded The Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama on August 12, 2009. She received the coveted Kennedy Center Honor in Washington, DC in December, 2002 and is the first Hispanic ever chosen to receive this award. Chita has recently recorded and released a new CD entitled And Now I Swing and is on a nationwide concert tour of Chita Rivera: My Broadway. Her most treasured production is her daughter, singer/dancer/choreographer Lisa Mordente.