comScore Chita Rivera Getting Lifetime Achievement Award at the Tonys | The Mary Sue

Broadway Legend Chita Rivera to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award at This Year’s Tony Awards

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12: Chita Rivera performs onstage at the 2nd Annual Voices For The Voiceless: Stars For Foster Kids Benefit at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre on September 12, 2016 in New York City.

What do you get a woman who originated some of the biggest female musical theater roles of all time? A lifetime achievement award, of course! Broadway legend Chita Rivera is getting her due at the Tony Awards this year. Having already won Best Lead Actress in a Musical twice, Rivera will now be honored with a special Tony award celebrating her entire, historic body of work.

Rivera will be awarded the 2018 Special Tony Awards for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre along with composer Andrew Lloyd Webber at the 72nd Annual Tony Awards, which will air on CBS in June. Not only did she originate the role of Anita in West Side Story on Broadway, but she originated Velma Kelly in Chicago, and Rosie in Bye, Bye Birdie alongside Dick Van Dyke.

In her seventy-plus year stage career, Rivera has been nominated 10 times for Best Lead Actress in a Musical, most recently in 2015 for The Visit. She won in 1984 for The Rink, and in 1993 for Kiss of the Spider Woman. In addition to her Tony accolades, she also received a Kennedy Center Honor in 2002 for her illustrious career, becoming the first Latinx, male or female, to be honored by the Kennedy Center. She was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Rivera said in a statement, “I could never have imagined the amazing journey I have had in the theater. I would not trade my life in the theater for anything as the theater is life.”

I am so thrilled that this shining example of Latina excellence is being honored for her career, and her life, on Broadway.

Tony nominations will be announced May 1 by Leslie Odom Jr. (Hamilton) and Katharine McPhee, currently on Broadway in Waitress.

The 72 Annual Tony Awards will be broadcast on CBS on June 10 at Radio City Music Hall in a ceremony hosted by Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban. Will you be watching? I see you, theater nerds!

(via , image: Anna Webber/Getty Images for Voices for the Voiceless)

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