‘West Side Story’ is Being Honored on July 4th in U.S. Capitol — Here’s What We Know

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“America,” the song from the musical West Side Story, will feel even more meaningful when Broadway star Chita Rivera headlines the annual Independence Day concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol.

“On July 4th, tune in to celebrate America’s 246th birthday with host [Mickey Guyton], a star-studded lineup of performers, & fireworks!” reps for the special tweeted this week.

According to Deadline, A Capitol Fourth will feature a West Side Story tribute for its 65th stage anniversary and performances by several artists, including Darren Criss, Yolanda Adams, Gloria Gaynor, Keb’ Mo’, Emily Bear, Andy Grammer, Rachel Platten, and Loren Allred with the National Symphony Orchestra. The event will be the first opened to the public in two years because of the pandemic.

The first stage performance of West Side Story took place on Broadway in 1957 with Rivera playing the role of Anita. Since then, the Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim musical has been performed countless times around the world and has returned to Broadway five times for revivals.

West Side Story was adapted for the big screen twice – once in 1961 and again in 2021. The role of Anita that originated with Rivera was played by Rita Moreno and Ariana DeBose. Both Moreno and DeBose won Oscars for Best Supporting Actress for their performances.

“Chita Rivera…was the OG Anita onstage,” DeBose told Deadline earlier this year. “She was really the quintessential triple threat on Broadway. Chita was very much like a star in my universe that I was trying to reach.”

A Capitol Fourth will air on PBS July 4, 2022, from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET and on Armed Forces Network and NPR member stations. It will stream on YouTube and PBS.org from July 4 to July 18.