Lovely Rita

Happy Memorial Day weekend, Dogs.

A family member in Reno tipped me off to the following column by Reno-Gazette Journal columnist Siobhan McAndrew that ran in today’s paper.

The gist of it is that after a speaking engagement, Moreno — the Bay Area’s own diva — reportedly dropped a casual invitation to the writer and her entourage to join Moreno for dinner.

Here’s a sample from the column:

We trick ourselves into believing how nice and sweet movie stars must be because reporters, like me, interview them and make them seem refreshingly real.

We grasp for any bit of ordinary, like whether they ordered soup and crackers during the interview, and we present it to the world as proof of regularness.

I learned the hard way how stupid that is when I almost had dinner with actress Rita Moreno.

Now, I’ve interviewed Moreno on numerous occasions. I’ve dined with her. I’ve watched her in the rehearsal hall, and I’ve always been impressed by a) how smart and sharp she is and b) how approachable she is. I’ve never seen her throw her diva weight around, which is not to say she never does, but the column surprised me, and I feel like we haven’t quite heard the whole story.

Here’s another bit of the column:

Occasionally, Moreno glanced at us, but most of the conversation was about how talented she was and how she should do a one woman show. We chimed in that she was great when we could, but we gave up quickly and sat silently in awkward misery.

We here at Theater Dogs will attempt to round out the story and see if there are perhaps any other perspectives.

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