Theater actors, to put it simply and crudely, work like dogs. Ms. Rivera is a national treasure in the eyes of generations of American theater-goers. At the age of 81 years young and with over sixty years in the business, she is working just as hard as those bright-eyed and bushy-tailed chorus girls and boys who just got off the train from Allentown, PA or any other proverbial American burg you want to name. Anyone who gets to the see THE VISIT will witness an octogenarian who wants to perform, loves to perform, and needs to perform. While her contemporaries in other more 'conventional' industries have retired to Boca, our beloved Chita is performing an eleventh hour pas de deux with a dancer nearly a quarter her age. Chita has been developing this specific work with John Kander, the late Fred Ebb, and book writer Terrence McNally since 2001. While the show has taken 13 years to reach New England, she has embraced the process every step of the way. She recently told The Boston Globe: "Going and working in that room everyday is really what you sign up to do when you say 'I want to be in the theater.' It's art at work, it's exciting in that way." And Ms. Rivera is not alone in her perseverance, discipline, and dedication to the craft. Other stage greats like John Cullum, John McMartin, Vanessa Redgrave, James Earl Jones, Angela Lansbury, and the late Elaine Stritch have all tread the boards through their goldenest of years.
Check out THE VISIT this month in Williamstown. You won't want to miss these theater legends doing what they do best.