UPCA’s annual movie fundraiser celebrates our rich cinematic history and rebirth that started with a new 50-foot screen and JBL speakers, plus Lin-Manuel Miranda’s 2016 donation of a DCP projector. All proceeds support our Movies at the Palace program.
This year’s fundraiser features a screening of the children’s classic “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” an exact replica of the famous flying car on stage and a pre-show that includes a Q&A between Richard Ridge of BroadwayWorld and legendary actress, dancer, and singer Chita Rivera, who was close friends with many of the principals of the film, including star Dick Van Dyke and choreographer Dee Dee Wood.
The Chitty replica car was handmade by retired NYPD Detective Sergeant (and current John Lennon impersonator) Tony Garofalo. The full-size, street legal car drove Mr. Dick Van Dyke around his hometown of Danville, Illinois in 2016 and was featured in the New York Times and the 2016 New York International Auto Show. After the movie, one lucky raffle winner will be photographed in the car, right where Dick Van Dyke sat! Learn about Tony’s five-year effort to build his replica car here.
The pre-show portion of the event will close with a performance by Broadway Performing Arts Center to honor the Broadway version of “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.”
Expect other surprises throughout the event!
CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG stars Dick Van Dyke, Sally Ann Howes, Lionel Jeffries, James Robertson Justice, and Robert Helpmann. It was directed by Ken Hughes and written by Roald Dahl and Hughes. Shown in English with Spanish subtitles. 2 hours, 24 minutes.
Synopsis: While truant from school, young siblings Jeremy and Jemima meet the beautiful Truly Scrumptious (Sally Ann Howes), who falls for their widowed father, Caractacus Potts (Dick Van Dyke), and his various oddball inventions, including the family's noisy rebuilt car, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. One day at the beach, Caractacus tells Truly and the children a fanciful fable about the villainous Baron Bomburst (Gert Frobe) and his evil designs on the Potts family car.
CHITA RIVERA is an accomplished and versatile actress/singer/dancer who has won two Tony Awards as Best Leading Actress in a Musical and received eight additional Tony nominations for an exceptional 10 Tony nominations. She recently starred in The Visit, the final John Kander/Fred Ebb/Terrence McNally musical directed by John Doyle and choreographed by Graciela Daniele on Broadway (2015), following the acclaimed production at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in the summer of 2014. She starred in the Broadway revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, the Broadway and touring productions of The Dancer’s Life, a dazzling new musical celebrating her spectacular career, written by Terrence McNally and directed by Graciela Daniele and the revival of the Broadway musical Nine with Antonio Banderas. She trained as a ballerina (from age 11) before receiving a scholarship to the School of American Ballet from legendary George Balanchine. Chita’s first appearance (age 17) was as a principal dancer in Call Me Madam. Her electric performance as Anita in the original Broadway premiere of West Side Story brought her stardom, which she repeated in London. Her career is highlighted by starring roles in Bye Bye Birdie, The Rink (Tony Award), Chicago, Jerry’s Girls, Kiss of the Spider Woman (Tony Award), and the original Broadway casts of Guys and Dolls, Can-Can, Seventh Heaven and Mr. Wonderful. On tour: Born Yesterday, The Rose Tattoo, Call Me Madam, Threepenny Opera, Sweet Charity, Kiss Me Kate, Zorba, Can-Can with The Rockettes. Chita was awarded The Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2009. She received the coveted Kennedy Center Honor in 2002 and became the first Hispanic woman ever chosen to receive this award. In November, 2016 she headlined at Carnegie Hall and in 2015, Great Performances aired their special Chita Rivera: A Lot of Livin’ To Do, a retrospective of her extraordinary life and career nationally on PBS. Her current solo CD is entitled And Now I Swing. Chita is currently on a concert tour with Tommy Tune in Chita & Tune: Just In Time. Her most treasured production is her daughter, singer/dancer/choreographer Lisa Mordente.