The theatre icon, born Dolores Conchita Figueroa del Rivero Anderson, also describes herself as two people. Rivera explains, "Chita is, 'Hello, how are you? It's so nice to be here.' Dolores says, 'What is it you want?' It's the darker side. I believe that Dolores is responsible for me having a career. She's the guts. She's the courage."
Watch the complete interview above.
Co-written with Patrick Pacheco, Chita: A Memoir is due April 25 (in English and in Spanish as well as an audiobook recorded by Rivera) from HarperOne. The book covers the West Side Story and Chicago star's early life and long Broadway career.
With a more than 60–year career on Broadway, Rivera is perhaps best known for creating the roles of Anita in West Side Story, Rose in Bye Bye Birdie, Velma in Chicago, and Aurora in Kiss of the Spider Woman, winning Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical Tony Awards for Spider Woman and The Rink. She was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Tony Award in 2018, recognizing a career that also includes performances in Nine, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and, most recently, The Visit. Rivera is closely associated with the writing team of John Kander and Fred Ebb, having starred in their musicals Chicago, The Rink, Kiss of the Spider Woman, and The Visit, but the memoir will also cover working with such theatrical luminaries as Stephen Sondheim, Bob Fosse, Dick Van Dyke, Arthur Laurents, Gwen Verdon, Leonard Bernstein, Liza Minnelli, and Hal Prince, among others.