Chita Rivera (Photo: Laura Marie Duncan)
It takes more than a pandemic to keep Broadway legend Chita Rivera from interacting with fans and discussing her extraordinary life in the theater.
Grab your laptop, favorite cocktail, and come prepared with questions for Be Our Guest, a weekly interactive happy hour with industry professionals. Streaming this Wednesday on Facebook Live, Devanand Janki, founder and artistic director of Live & In Color, sits down digitally with three-time Tony Award-winning actress Chita Rivera (West Side Story, Kiss of the Spiderwoman) for a spirited discussion on what diversity in the arts means to her and how she’s broken down barriers and thrived in the landscape.
Launched in at the height of the pandemic in May, Be Our Guest brings in some of Broadway’s brightest names to offer advice, inspiration, and sometimes even a little inside dish! Each week, Janki kicks off the discussion, but unlike other online chat programs, he moderates questions from the online audience.
For Janki, having Rivera on his newly launched chat show is dream happily realized and a perfect fit for the mission of Live & In Color, which celebrates diversity in the arts and fosters new work that tells BIPOC stories.
“As an ambassador to musical theater around the globe, Chita continues to be one most enduring faces of Broadway,” says Janki. “She has truly revolutionized theatre and remains one of the biggest representatives of Latinx culture, in a world where they not new, but have not always been acknowledged or welcomed. She’s laid the groundwork for so many generations of BIPOC artists, opened doors, shattered glass ceilings, and led the way with her elegance, formidable talent and beautiful spirit. It is an absolute privilege to get to talk to this incomparable artist who has inspired so many of us. “
To get your chance to digitally chat with Chita, tune in Wednesday, August 26 at 6 p.m. ET. at
“This challenging time has bittersweetly brought the theater community together in ways that I could have never imagined, “Janki continued. “I am excited to continue to explore this new online medium. So much of our work at Live & In Color has been about connecting our diverse communities. We are committed to continue building on what we started five years ago. Through our new virtual programming, we will endure to create, connect and celebrate our amazing artists in any way we can.”
The brainchild of Lucille Lortel Award-winning director and choreographer Devanand Janki, Live & In Color develops new work for the stage that promotes and celebrates diversity. Emphasizing non-traditional casting, multi-ethnic participants, and bold theatricality, LAIC offers unique development opportunities for new plays and musicals that encourage dialogue among artists from a variety of cultures.