Theater: Chita Rivera has been a Broadway star for the past 60 years, originating roles in such shows as West Side Story, Bye Bye Birdie and Chicago, as well as winning Tony Awards for The Rink and Kiss of the Spider Woman. Tonight, she will appear at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre in a one-woman retrospective of these musicals, singing numbers from them and kicking up her heels, belying her 81-year age. The evening is a benefit for the Maltz and its operations, with tickets ranging from $75 to $125. There are a few left, available by calling 561-575-2223.
Film: Jon Stewart, host of TV’s satirical The Daily Show, took a sabbatical this summer to make his feature film directing debut with Rosewater, which is anything but a comedy. It is the grim tale of freelance videographer Maziar Bahari, on assignment in Iran for Newsweek in 2009 during that oppressive nation’s corrupt national elections. In part because of a tongue-in-cheek interview he did for The Daily Show, Bahari was arrested and thrown into solitary confinement for 118 days. Rosewater is the nickname he gave his psychological torturer, whose hands smelled of the fragrant perfume. It is a dramatic tale of one man’s attempt to maintain his sanity until horrible conditions, yet Stewart manages to find places for dark humor, aided by actor Gael Garcia Bernal (Y Tu Mama Tambien) as Bahari. Opening in several area locations this weekend.
Music: Florida Grand Opera opens its 74th season tonight in Miami with a sure-fire box-office smash, Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, his 1904 weepie about the Japanese teen bride of an American naval officer who betrays her. Starring as Cio-Cio San is the American soprano Kelly Kaduce, with Uruguayan tenor Martin Nusspaumer as Pinkerton; Caitlin McKechney is Suzuki, Cio-Cio San’s faithful servant. Kaduce has sung Suor Angelica and Anna Karenina for FGO, and Nusspaumer was a standout in last season’s Thaïs. Tomorrow afternoon, the opera’s second cast takes over, with young artist Vanessa Isiguen as Cio-Cio San and John Pickle as Pinkerton. After five shows at the Ziff Ballet Opera House, there will be two more at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, closing Dec. 6. The curtain goes up tonight at 7 at the Ziff. Call (800) 741-1010 for tickets, or visit www.fgo.org.
If you’re not in the mood for opera, there is a symphonic option at the Crest Theatre in Delray Beach tonight, when the South Florida Symphony performs with the fine American cellist Zuill Bailey in a rare reading of a late work by Prokofiev, his Sinfonia Concertante, which the ailing composer wrote a year before he died in collaboration with Mstislav Rostropovich and recycles some of the music from his earlier Cello Concerto. It’s come into favor in recent years as a new wave of cellists has searched the repertory for fresh pieces to perform. Also on the program, which will be led by guest conductor Piotr Gajewski, is the overture to Verdi’s Nabucco, and the Fourth Symphony of Tchaikovsky. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m.; tickets are $35-$55. Call 954-522-8445 or visit southfloridasymphony.org.