Berkeley Repertory Theatre kicks off its new season tonight with the world premiere of Rita Moreno: Life Without Makeup, a new show created specifically for this outstanding actress/singer/dancer…
Written by Artistic Director Tony Taccone and staged and directed by David Galligan, the production starts previews in the Roda Theatre on September 2, and runs until October 30.
Moreno says of the project,
I am truly excited as I anticipate telling my story on the stage at Berkeley Rep. Did I mention I’m terrified, happy, overwhelmed, ecstatic… so what’s new, that’s just me! It is great to be surrounded by such a supportive group of talented and dedicated people. I am amazed how Tony Taccone, the play’s author, could fit 79 years of living into two hours yet capture the excitement, sadness, humor, surprise, and verve with which it was lived. Sharing my life in this place is fitting. After all, Berkeley is my port of call.”
Tony Taccone is excited too,
It’s fantastic to have Rita back on our stage. Her life story is both improbable and inspirational, so I’ve been trying to talk her into telling it for years. Once she embraced the idea, she threw herself into the task with the full measure of her talent and intelligence. The result is both entertaining and revealing – and it’s particularly moving for anyone who was born into difficult circumstances and strives for more. As a writer, it’s been great to work with such a skilled storyteller, and I’m sure our audience will be delighted by the result.”
During her career, Rita Moreno has portrayed some tough women, from Anita in West Side Story to Maria Callas in Master Class: now she takes on herself. The star of stage and screen returns to Berkeley Rep for the first time since a sold-out run in The Glass Menagerie. She recounts her unlikely life in this irreverent and entertaining new show. Expect another breathtaking performance from the lady who won the Oscar, the Tony, the Grammy, and two Emmys.
Photo: Michael LaMonica. All images © Berkeley Repertory Theatre. All rights reserved.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.