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Chita Rivera plays mentor to young dancers


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“We’re playing the Shubert, kids!’’ That’s what Chita Rivera (center) shouted to Boston Youth Moves teens who joined the Broadway legend onstage at the end of her show on Friday night. Rivera headlined “Chita Rivera: My Broadway’’ at Swellegance (a benefit for the Youth Moves program, which is based at the Jeannette Neill Dance Studio) and surprised the crowd by inviting students to close the show by dancing to music from “Chicago.’’ Swellegance also featured the Tony winner sharing intimate stories about about her iconic productions including “Bye Bye Birdie,’’ “Sweet Charity,’’ “West Side Story,’’ “Kiss of the Spider Woman,’’ and “The Rink.’’ Rivera confessed that when she first got the call to star in “The Rink’’ with Liza Minnelli, she was was thrilled and responded, “We always wanted to play girlfriends.’’ When she was told the show was about a mother and daughter she said, “Oh, who plays the mother?’’ After Friday’s performance, Rivera greeted guests at the Four Seasons Hotel, posed for photos, and all that jazz.

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