Monday, January 22, 2007

Rita at 75

I'm very lucky to have good friends like Brian who, in addition to being a source of strength and support for me over the years, frequently takes me to cabaret shows at swanky joints like the Cafe Carlyle -- places that I would have a hard time getting into otherwise!

Last week, on one of the coldest nights of the year, we caught the fabulous Rita Moreno in her Carlyle debut. Oh, I hope to look as good as she does and have as much energy as she has when I'm 75!

She lent her voice to some beautiful lesser-known songs, including "But Alive" from Applause, a great number from an under-appreciated musical; and "New Ways to Dream" from Sunset Boulevard. Didn't know that she once played Norma Desmond in London.

But I think my favorite part of the evening was an anecdote she shared about riding the elevator with a fellow -- and much less sophisticated -- guest of the Carlyle. As Rita tells it, the woman saw her gold-sequin top and asked if she was going to the show downstairs. "I am the show downstairs!" she quipped. And when the woman asked her her name, she replied: "Chita Rivera."

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