“Chita Rivera blazed a trail where none existed so the rest of us could see a path forward.”—Lin-Manuel Miranda
“This deserves a standing ovation.”—Publishers Weekly
The wildly entertaining memoir of the legendary Chita Rivera—multi–Tony Award winner, Kennedy Center honoree, and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
She was born Dolores Conchita Figueroa del Rivero—until the entertainment world renamed her. But Dolores—the irreverent side of the sensual, dark, and ferocious Chita—was always present and influential in creating some of Broadway’s most iconic roles, including Anita in West Side Story‚ Rosie in Bye Bye Birdie, Velma in Chicago, Aurora in Kiss of the Spider Woman, and Claire in The Visit.
Written in gratitude to her fans and with the hope that new generations may learn from her experience, Chita takes us backstage to reveal the highs and lows of one extraordinary show business career—the creative fermentation, the ego clashes, the miraculous discoveries. Chita invites us into the room with some of the greatest talents of the age, including Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Laurents, Stephen Sondheim, John Kander, Fred Ebb, Bob Fosse, Jerome Robbins, Hal Prince, Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli, Sammy Davis Jr., Gwen Verdon, Shirley MacLaine, and more.
This colorful memoir is the unforgettable story of a performer who blazed her own trail and inspired countless performers to forge their own paths to success.
Chita Rivera (1933–2024) was one of Broadway’s most accomplished and versatile performers. Among her celebrated stage credits are West Side Story, Bye Bye Birdie, Chicago, The Rink, Kiss of the Spider Woman, and The Visit.
Patrick Pacheco is an Emmy Award-winning television commentator and arts journalist whose work has appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, and other publications. Formerly with Ny1 On Stage, he now hosts the interview program Theater, All the Moving Parts on CUNY-TV. He has written for film, television, and the stage both in the United States and abroad, and is the author and editor of the bestselling American Theater Wing, An Oral History: 100 Years, 100 Voices, 100 Million Miracles. He lives in New York City.
“Chita Rivera blazed a trail where none existed so the rest of us could see a path forward. She was part of some of the greatest musicals in the history of the form, from Anita in the trailblazing West Side Story through Claire Zachanassian in the underrated masterpiece The Visit, over 60 years later. She was a Puerto Rican Broadway icon and the original ‘triple threat.’ We were so lucky to be alive in the same timeline as Chita Rivera." — Lin-Manuel Miranda
"A frank and fascinating memoir from one of the truly great artists of the American Theater. Lots of stories. . . . Lots of insight . . . and quite a few caustic statements from Chita’s alter ego, Dolores. An illuminating history and a guaranteed pleasure!" — John Kander
"Playful and history-rich. . . . Broadway-loving readers will appreciate the play-by-play (pun intended) of this fizzy book." — New York Times
"This deserves a standing ovation." — Publishers Weekly
"Chita’s magnificent memoir literally danced off the page and into my heart with her signature style, wit, humor, warmth, and humility. It was as if she was giving me a personal glimpse into the golden years of show biz and beyond. It’s filled with Chita’s loves, laughs, losses, and all that jazz. If it’s possible—it made me love her even more than I already do!" — Rob Marshall
"Fans of musical theater and dance are in for a real treat." — Kirkus Reviews
"An enjoyable and inspiring inside look at a life in the theater." — Library Journal
"A captivating, stirring memoir [filled with] loads of dramatic incidents. . . . Every fast-reading page is animated with her upbeat, outspoken spin on a spunky, fearless life where she blazed her own trail. Chita, take your well-deserved bow!" — Brian Bromberger, Bay Area Reporter
"Delicious!…One of the main and most delightful concepts of the book: 'Chita is sweet and kind,' she insists before admitting, 'Dolores [alter ego] is a bat out of hell.' Rivera’s advice to us all comes from an Ebb lyric in the team’s 70, GIRLS, 70: 'Say yes!' Indeed, say yes to this marvelous memoir so that you can not only savor all there is to Chita but also understand where Dolores is coming from, too." — Peter Filicia, Masterworks Broadway
"This colorful and entertaining memoir-as vital and captivating as Chita herself-is the unforgettable and engrossing personal story of a performer who blazed her own trail and inspired countless performers to forge their own unique path to success." — Richie Ridge, Broadway World
"Chita Rivera knows how to tell a story…The book is a fast, fun read full of fabulous tales, smart and insightful. It may well make you laugh and cry. And I bet you'll be sad when it ends. I was." — Wendy Caster, TalkinBroadway
"Wow! A wide-ranging, entertaining memoir about her life on stage and screen. And yes, Chita is as wonderful as she is!" — Town&Country
"Gripping, moving, insightful…wonderfully inspirational! Reading Chita, A memoir, is like going to the still center of Broadway creativity and the remarkable people who gave their all to make it happen. The details of her life are simply astounding!" — Cahir O'Doherty, The NY Irish Voice