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With the movie version of Chicago opening for Oscar consideration later this month, credit the Smithsonian with canny programming for bringing Broadway’s sizzling original Velma, Chita Rivera, back to town. “Back,” because Rivera, the hottest dancer of Broadway’s golden age, is a D.C. native. Her eros-charged high kicks inspired choreographers from Jerome Robbins (West Side Story) to Gower Champion (Bye Bye Birdie), and her raspy purr provoked Kander & Ebb to create Kiss of the Spider Woman and other showcases, so she should have plenty of tales to tell in this trip down memory lane. Not all of her shows were personal triumphs (anyone remember Bring Back Birdie?), but when given some dance steps and a song to sing, she was electrifying. Still is, apparently. Just last year, at the age of 68, she headlined a new musical, The Visit, getting better reviews than the show did even though her character had a wooden leg. She’ll reminisce at 7 p.m. at the National Museum of American History’s Carmichael Auditorium, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW. $15. For reservations call (202) 357-3030. (Bob Mondello)