Lovely as ever, Rita Moreno tells her tale

Sep 08

Lovely as ever, Rita Moreno tells her tale

She’s charming and gorgeous. Vivacious and soulful. In short, Rita Moreno is the perfect candidate for an autobiographical show.

Rita Moreno: Life Without Makeup is not yet the perfect show for this legendary performer, but it provides a snazzy opening to the Berkeley Repertory Theatre season.

Written by Berkeley Rep Artistic Director Tony Taccone and directed by David Galligan,, the show is at its best when Moreno is taking us through the ups and mostly downs of her storied career. Act 1 is a chronological narrative, beginning with a 5-year-old Rosa Dolores Alverío boarding a ship in 1936 to take them from Puerto Rico to a new life in New York.

From her first meeting with Louis B. Mayer at age 16, Moreno was catapulted from life in the barrio to the world of hardscrabble glamour as a Hollywood starlet who, it’s interesting to note, could have chose the screen name Mitzi Margarita.

What’s so interesting about Moreno’s story is that throughout her career, she was fighting stereotype.

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Rita Moreno offers cabaret `Tributes’ at Rrazz Room

Nov 04

The Bay Area’s resident superstar, Rita Moreno, opens a new cabaret act at San Francisco’s Rrazz Room on Wednesday, Nov. 5. But she was recently at the Rrazz Room as an audience member for her dear friend Chita Rivera’s Bay Area cabaret debut. “We got together afterwards and just laughed and laughed,” Moreno says. Moreno and Rivera...

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Celebs warble through `Help’ Aug. 3

Jul 31

The Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation’s annual gala fundraiser, Help Is on the Way 14: Blame It on the Movies, is this Sunday, Aug. 3, at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. As usual, the roster of performers is impressive. Among the locals you’ll find singing songs from movies (both great movie musicals and pop songs from contemporary blockbusters)...

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Broadway baby Peters can still be a blast

Jul 26

Last night at Davies Symphony Hall, Bernadette Peters was in a good mood. Her voice was in great shape (and her shape was in GREAT shape). In other words, Peters’ “Summer in the City” concert was a triumph. Last time Peters was in town, she was performing a theatrical concert at the Orpheum Theatre to promote her new Rodgers and Hammerstein...

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Cleo, Chita & Rita heading to Rrazz Room

Jul 23

San Francisco’s Rrazz Room has announced its fall schedule, and it’s pretty amazing, especially for theater aficionados. The season opens in September with Dame Cleo Laine and Sir John Dankworth, one of the most celebrated jazz duos on the circuit. Although restricting them to one label is chintzy. Laine’s album of Sondheim songs is one of her best,...

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High schoolers win big `Beach Blanket’ bucks

Jun 09

After San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom took his foot out of his mouth (he made an inappropriate comment about gay marriage), and after former SF Mayor Willie Brown introduced a film clip, and after the Beach Blanket Babylon cast throttled a song from Wicked, the Beach Blanket Babylon Scholarship for the Arts competition got under way and did what it has been doing...

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