Jul 9, 2009

A Diva From Humacao

Rita Moreno, for me, is like a Titi (Auntie) from another grandmother. I first encountered her while watching The Electric Company. Her voice welcomed me each day by saying "Hey you guys!" I adore her.

She turned it out in the film version of West Side Story as Anita. She won an Oscar for that role. She also won two Emmys. One was for an appearance on Rockford Files, and the other, well you'll see the clip below. She also has a Tony and Grammy on her shelf.

Some of my fellow Puerto Ricans have issues with Rita. They feel that at times during her career she sold out and played roles that demeaned Latinos/as. All I can say to that is she was a pioneer and had to take some hits for the home team. Her efforts laid the groundwork for other Latinos/as to come after her and do their thing in the entertainment business.

I met her once, and she was so divine and loving. She also spoke at several events I attended and told those in the audience to go for theirs, despite the challenges or racism they may face. She's a proud woman that has overcome many obstacles.

I appreciate her because back in the day, she gave me a face to look at that reminded me how beautiful and talented my people are. With that said, enjoy Doña Rita with one of my favorite Muppets.


lelocolon said...

To me Rita Moreno suffers from the same kind of amnesia that most celebrities of colors do. While they used their ethnic roots to promote their own melancholic victory, the minute they make it, they transplant as far away from their roots in pursuit of money. And more than often at the expenses of their own cultural identity. The only role that I give credit to Rita was in the HBO series, OZ. But even then, it was hard for me to concentrate on her performance as the devoted nun, knowing that she herself had a long history participating in the same cultural paradigms that kept afflicting our Boricua culture. If you want to really explore a great Puerto Rican Diva, think Miriam Colon, founder of the Puerto Rican Traveling theater. Hey she does not have the same award figurines that Rita has, but she still gives her best performance to her Puerto Rican brothers and sisters.

Kitty said...

Rita was on Oz? I like her but can't comment on her selling-out, mostly cuz my chalkboard is filled with my own folks *cough*Tyler Perry Inc*cough*. I wish I could watch Oz but that show scares me even sitting in the comfort of my own home.

bunnilove said...

I did like the Muppets bit...maybe because I just simply liked the Muppets when it aired.

As far as Oz, I found that show a bit intense at times, so I hear you loud and clear Kitty.

As for Tyler Perry...is he gay? I remember watching an award show, BET perhaps?, and he was saying how folks were coming up to him and saying how inspirational his work has been to them. I almost laughed. He also stated how not only has his work inspired them, but how it kept them from KILLING THEMSELVES, PUTTING DOWN THAT DRINK, AND NOT HITTING THEIR WOMEN!!! I almost pissed in my pants!!

Kitty said...

@bunnilove :

Tyler says he just hasn't found the right woman yet which my 41 years of life tells me is code for "I like boys but my churched up coonery won't sell to easily amused black folks if they find out". I'm waiting to see what he does about one of his main "the hot guy" actors being outed by an ex-boyfriend last week. I personally think Tyler will get rid of him quietly in order to keep the franchise running and not be put on "query" about himself.

I have actually managed to never see a Tyler Perry movie, my brain just can't go there.

The few episodes I saw had me curled up on the couch with my eyes covered...too brutal and rapey for me.

bunnilove said...

I hear ya Kitty...how much rape can one person witness, even if it is just on television?!

And, I too am in the same boat as you: I've never seen a Tyler Perry film. I simply can't imagine them to be any better than the trailers.

I think that the right woman for Tyler has a penis and no breasts...a rare woman indeed!!Hahahahaha!!

Wonder Man said...

I think she wonderful and stands strong in her convictions

Todd HellsKitchen said...

Thanks for the Animal clip! LOL