Chita Rivera, Warren Zanes to appear at this year’s Montclair Literary Festival



The actress, singer and dancer Chita Rivera will appear at Suceed2gether’s seventh annual Montclair Literary Festival, taking place May 3-8.

A trailblazer onstage and on-screen, Rivera will discuss her book “Chita: A Memoir” (due to be published April 25) with actress and Montclair resident Laura Benanti, May 4 at Montclair’s First Congregational Church.

The first Latina American to receive Kennedy Center Honors, Rivera is the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and a three-time Tony Award winner. She has appeared in “West Side Story,” “Bye Bye Birdie,” “Chicago” and many other Broadway shows.

Also at the festival, Montclair-based author and musician Warren Zanes will present a show titled “Finding Nebraska” — described on the fest’s website as a “words-and-music show about one man’s love affair with Bruce Springsteen’s album Nebraska” — May 5 at the First Congregational Church. Zanes will publish a book titled “Deliver Me from Nowhere: The Making of Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska,” May 2.

The music of the “Finding Nebraska” show will feature Zanes along with James Maddock and Laura Cantrell, backed by David Mansfield, Ray Kubian and Chris Harford.

The cover of Warren Zanes’ “Deliver Me From Nowhere: The Making of Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska.”

Zanes met Springsteen several times before writing the book, including when Springsteen joined Zanes’ band The Del Fuegos onstage in a gig in North Carolina in 1985. Zanes wrote the bestselling 2015 book “Petty: The Biography,” about Tom Petty, has released four solo albums, and is a member of poet and songwriter Paul Muldoon’s band Rogue Oliphant. His festival appearance will be co-produced by Succeed2gether and Outpost in the Burbs.

These will be ticketed events, though most of the festival’s other offerings — including interviews, discussion panels, student readings and children’s programming — will be free and held at the Montclair Public Library, and in tents outside the library and First Congregational Church.

Other confirmed authors include Margo Jefferson, Deb Perelman, Mary Beth Keane, Mary Louise Kelly, D.T. Max, Neil Baldwin, Jai Chakrabarti, Amy Poeppel and Kwame Alexander, though dates for their appearances are not available.

Last year’s festival featured Joyce Carol Oates, Elizabeth Alexander, Jennifer Egan, Don Winslow, Anna Quindlen and others.

The festival, launched in 2017, promotes literacy for all and raises funds and awareness for the work of Succeed2gether, a nonprofit organization that addresses unequal access to educational resources by providing free enrichment classes and one-on-one tutoring and post-high-school resources to children in need from EssexCounty. The organization’s goal is to assist in closing the education gaps in the area.

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