Mirvish Productions will dim the marquee lights of its Princess of Wales Theatre and Royal Alexandra Theatre, both in Toronto, to honor Broadway legend Chita Rivera. The three-time Tony honoree died January 30 at the age of 91.
The Canadian theatre-owning group is the first to reveal plans for the traditional theatrical honor in the wake of Rivera's passing, but similar tributes are expected for Broadway theatres, to be announced in the coming days.
Mirvish's tribute will be held February 2 at 8 PM ET.
Rivera's seven-decade career includes creating a long list of iconic musical theatre roles, including Anita in West Side Story, Rose in Bye Bye Birdie, Velma Kelly in Chicago, Aurora in Kiss of the Spider Woman, and Claire in The Visit, among others. Puerto Rican, Scottish, Irish, and African-American, Rivera was also a barrier-breaking trailblazer who stood out as a Latine dancer and actor in an age when the vast majority of her colleagues were white.
Her Toronto performances included playing the role of Roxie in Chicago for the first time in her career in the musical's revival staging in 1999, along with the pre-Broadway tryout run of Kiss of the Spider Woman in 1992. Rivera reprised her performance in the latter for an encore run in 1996.