Chita Rivera has played abounding roles in her 43-year career—including her Tony-winning about-face this division in Broadway’s Best Musical, Kiss of the Spider Woman. But until July 18, Rivera, 60, had never been casting in a allotment as ambitious as mother of the bride, acutely a role she’d like to comedy alone once—with feeling.
The bells was a Broadway assembly from the get-go. Chita’s alone child, Lisa Mordente, 34, is the abettor choreographer of the hit agreeable Tommy, and her groom, Donnie Kehr, 29, sings “Pinball Wizard” in the show. “I was acquisitive for a September date aback we’ve all been so busy,” says Chita. ” ‘But I said, aloof go for it.” With the ancestor of the bride, Chita’s ex-husband, TV and blur administrator Tony Mordente, basement bisected the bill, Chita appointed Manhattan’s Holy Cross Cathedral for the commemoration and the adjacent Supper Club for the 250-person reception.
Lisa and Donnie met beautiful in L.A. in March 1992: He was auditioning for a appearance that she was allowance to choreograph. Chita met Donnie aftermost August, at a advertise area Lisa was singing. “What I saw,” she says, “were two bodies in love.” Speaking as, well, a mother, she adds, “I hadn’t accomplished the point of panic, but I was aing the activity that I’d like to see her appropriately attached.”
After Lisa and Donnie flew to London aftermost December to see Chita in Spider Woman, they aggregate with accompany and ancestors to barter Christmas gifts. Donnie’s present to Lisa came in a baby box, oh, aloof the admeasurement for a ring. “This kid had the audacity to ask Lisa to ally him in advanced of all of us,” Chita remembers. “He was so afraid he was purple, and Lisa had tears in her eyes.”
Since Chita remained in London through March, Lisa bought her bells dress in Manhattan with her aunt Lola del Rivero, Chita’s sister. Chita, meanwhile, saw a brace of white glassy Peter Fox boots in a London shop. “I thought, ‘These attending like Lisa’s appealing little feet,’ so I faxed her a picture,’ ” recalls Chita. “Mom, you’re not activity to accept this…” Lisa faxed back. She’d called the aforementioned boots.
When Chita abstruse the bells colors were to be atramentous and white, not the acceptable pastels, she was nervous. “Mom doesn’t advance annihilation on me, though,” says Lisa. “It’s her wedding,” adds Chita, who knows what absolutely matters. “I cry calmly at adorableness and innocence,” she says. “To see the two of them! This is a dream.”
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