The supporting characters in Fosse/Verdon is so full of Broadway legends, you could spin an entire cinematic universe from their story. In Tuesday’s Chicago-centric episode, Bianca Marroquin returns as Chita Rivera — who starred alongside Gwen Verdon as the Velma Kelly to her Roxie Hart. If you’re itching for videos of Chita Rivera dancing after Fosse/Verdon, you’ve come to the right place.
Rivera is a 10 time Tony Award nominee and four time winner — most recently, in 2018, she received the lifetime achievement award. Her Broadway career is arguably more legendary than Fosse and Verdon combined. While she is one of the dancers most-associated with Fosse’s style, thanks to Sweet Charity and Chicago, she really didn’t work with the director/choreographer much outside of those two projects.
She actually worked with Verdon first on Broadway, in Can Can. "They were auditioning for [Verdon’s] understudy and she came in that day and called me into her dressing room and said, ‘You know, you have your own identity. I really think you should look for and explore your own gifts, your own talents,’" Rivera said in an interview with the LA Times. "She is the first one who gave me a little bit of courage to go out and find out who Chita was and what I could do."
Turns out, "who Chita was" became one of Broadway’s brightest and most enduring stars. Here’s just a taste of what she can do.
"There’s Gotta Be Something Better Than This" From Sweet Charity
This is one you’ll wanna watch over, and over, and over. Paula Kelly, Shirley Maclaine, and Rivera practically fly across the screen.
"Spanish Rose" from Bye Bye Birdie
Rivera originated this role on Broadway, and performed on the Ed Sullivan Show.
"Blue" At The Hollywood Palace
Don’t you kind of want a Rivera spin-off after watching this?
"Pretty For Me"
Seriously, she’s just so good.
"America" From West Side Story
While Rita Moreno played Anita in the film adaptation of West Side Story, Rivera originated the role on Broadway. That’s a whole lot of drama we don’t need to get into, but luckily Rivera continued to perform numbers from the show throughout her career.
"All That Jazz" & "Nowadays" From Chicago
Now that Fosse/Verdon is telling the story of how Chicago came to be on Broadway, this is extra relevant. There is a video of the full "Nowadays/Hot Honey Rag" on Youtube, but the reunion clip above is a little clearer — and introduced by Liza Minelli!
"Spread A Little Sunshine" From Pippin
Rivera was not in the original cast of Pippin but was featured in this 1981 televised performance.
This Medley From Gypsy
This is from a tribute concert in 1987 — and look! There’s an older Ann Reinking as well. The third dancer, Donna McKechnie, was another pivotal Broadway performer in the ’70s and ’80s, but not associated with Fosse.
Kiss Of The Sider-Woman Tony Awards Performance
Rivera was 60 years old here. That’s all.
Feel free to jump down a YouTube rabbit hole for more of Rivera’s seriously impressive moves. Fosse/Verdon touches a little on her genius in what can be dubbed "the Chicago episodes," but there’s so, so much more.
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