During her spectacular career, Rita Moreno has portrayed some tough women, from Anita in West Side Story to Maria Callas in Master Class. Now this legendary performer takes on the toughest woman of all—herself. The star of stage and screen returns to Berkeley Rep for the first time since her sold-out run in The Glass Menagerie. Rita recounts her improbable life in an irreverent and entertaining new show that features a lively band and two expert dancers. Expect another breathtaking performance from the lady who won the Oscar, the Tony, the Grammy and two Emmys.
“Moreno—past and present—is a pleasure…Written by Berkeley Rep Artistic Director Tony Taccone, in his local playwriting debut, developed with Moreno and directed by David Galligan, Rita is an idiosyncratic cross between star showcase and intimate memoir. Two backup dancers and music director-pianist César Cancino’s polished onstage quartet are on hand for the expected career-highlight numbers. But most of Rita is the story of a Puerto Rican girl’s journey from childhood through the highs, lows and racism of show biz. It’s the tale of the successes, missteps, passions and regrets of Rosita Dolores Alverio…She looks great and commands the stage with ease, in Annie Smart’s svelte gowns, as choreographer Lee Martino makes good use of the athletic Ray Garcia and Salvatore Vassallo to fill in Robbins-based or Gene Kelly-ish moves in numbers from ‘West Side Story’ and ‘Singin’ in the Rain.’ Her very funny recreation of her Tony-winning turn from Terrence McNally’s The Ritz is a show-stopper.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Rita Moreno has never been the kind of actress who needed sequins to sparkle. She started dancing her heart out when she was 5, and she’s been hoofing it ever since. Now almost 80, the star recounts her glitzy life story in Life Without Makeup. In its world premiere at Berkeley Rep, it’s a highly pleasurable showbiz memoir steeped in the nostalgia of the Golden Age of Hollywood…The first—and still one of only a few—performers to have nabbed an Oscar, an Emmy, a Tony and a Grammy, Moreno is an old hand at working a crowd…You feel like she’s an old friend spinning yarns over cocktails instead of a legend looking back on a storied career…She still electrifies in the musical numbers. Reprising her indelible performance as Anita in West Side Story or sending up her comic shtick from The Electric Company, Moreno mesmerizes…Rita Moreno sparkles!”—San Jose Mercury News / Bay Area News Group
“What a woman. And what a great show…An amazing, engaging, important night of theatre. From Singin’ in the Rain to Brando heartbreak to West Side Story, this remarkable woman has a story to tell. From the seemy underside of Hollywood and the glamour of Broadway, from climbing to the top, being knocked down and fighting to get back up, Rita gives us dancing, singing, true tales of Broadway slave drivers and Hollywood thugs. Raw, honest, fun, inspiring. What a life in show biz is all about. Hats off to Rita. Do not miss this show!”—Jan Wahl, KCBS-AM & KRON-TV
Rita Moreno Acts Out Own Career
A fantastic interview with Rita Moreno for PBS NewsHour—featuring show clips and a peek behind the scenes in rehearsals.
Rita Moreno joins Facebook
See what she’s up to, read her latest news clips and even watch video blasts from the past.
Amplifying Rita Moreno
Can’t see those wireless mics? Here’s why.