Chita Rivera Awards

by Michael Mahany | 9/12/2017 3:16 PM


Bebe Neuwirth and Chita Rivera. Photo Credit:


Last night at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre in New York City, Bebe Neuwirth hosted the inaugural 2016-2017 Chita Rivera Awards.


Two time TONY® award winner and recipient of both the Presidential Medal of Freedom and a Kennedy Center Honor, Chita Rivera created iconic roles on Broadway like Anita in West Side Story, Rose in Bye Bye Birdie, and The Spider Woman in Kiss Of The Spider Woman.


The Awards mission statement states that the Chita Rivera Awards were created, “to celebrate dance and choreographic excellence, and the awards seek to continue that vision by not only celebrating the superb achievement of each nominee but by recognizing the immeasurable talents and passion of every theatrical choreographer and dancer.”


Performances during the evening included portions from A Bronx Tale, Come From Away, and the Off-Broadway revival of Sweet Charity. New York City Ballet performed ‘America’ from West Side Story as a tribute to Ms. Rivera, and Tony Yazbeck along with American Dance Machine For The 21st Century performed ‘We’ll Take a Glass Together’ from Grand Hotel to honor Lifetime Achievement Award winner Tommy Tune.**


Sergio Trujillo, Chita Rivera, and Kelly Devine. Photo Credit: Walter McBride/Broadwayworld


Here’s a full list of the winners:






Theatrical Release Nominees


Beauty and the Beast (release date, March 17, 2017) Anthony Van Laast, Choreographer

La La Land (released December 25, 2016) Mandy Moore, Choreographer

London Road (released September 9, 2016) Javier de Frutos, Choreographer

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (released June 3, 2016) Danielle Flora and Tian Wang, Co-Choreographers


Documentary Nominees


Alive and Kicking (Magnolia Pictures, Distributor), Director: Susan Glatzer

Dancer (WestEnd Films),Director: Steven Cantor

Mr. Gaga (Abramorama Films), Director: Tomer Heymann

Restless Creature (Abramorama Films), Directors: Linda Saffire, Adam Schlesinger




Outstanding Choreography in a Broadway Show:


Andy Blankenbuehler, Bandstand

Josh Bergasse, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Warren Carlyle, Hello Dolly!

Peter Darling and Ellen Kane, Groundhog Day

Kelly Devine, Come from Away

Denis Jones, Holiday Inn

Sergio Trujillo, A Bronx Tale


Outstanding Ensemble in a Broadway Show:


A Bronx Tale



Come from Away

Hello Dolly!

Holiday Inn

Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812


Outstanding Male Dancer in a Broadway Show:


Corbin Bleu, Holiday Inn

John Bolton, Anastasia

Max Clayton, Bandstand

Tyler Hanes, Cats

Ryan Kasprzak, Bandstand

Ricky Ubeda, Cats


Outstanding Female Dancer in a Broadway Show:


Andrea Dotto, Bandstand

Lora Lee Gayer, Holiday Inn

Eloise Kropp, Cats

Georgina Pazcoguin, Cats

Emma Pfaeffle, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Megan Sikora, Holiday Inn

Christine Cornish Smith, Cats

Jaime Verazin, Bandstand


Outstanding Choreography in an Off-Broadway Show:


Joshua Bergasse, Sweet Charity

David Dorfman, Indecent

Merete Muenter, The Golden Bride

David Neumann, The Total Bent

Misha Shields, Baghdaddy


Outstanding Female Dancer in an Off-Broadway Show:


Yesenia Ayala, Sweet Charity

Asmeret Ghebremichael, Sweet Charity

Nikka Graff Lanzarone, Sweet Charity

Emily Padgett, Sweet Charity

Lyrica Woodruff, Finian's Rainbow


Outstanding Male Dancer in an Off-Broadway Show:


Ato Blankson-Wood, The Total Bent

Brandon Espinoza, Baghdaddy

Curtis Wiley, The Total Bent

Cody Williams, Sweet Charity

Blake Zolfo, Kid Victory


Lifetime Achievement Award:

Tommy Tune


Outstanding Contribution to Musical Theater as Director:

Diane Paulus


Outstanding Contribution to the Arts and Humanity:

Antonio Vendome


**cited from: