Monday’s Here & NowTakes Listeners Beyond “West Side Story”

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This month marks the 50th anniversary of the release of the film "West Side Story." The Romeo and Juliet
story set amongst 1950s gangs in New York City picked up 10 Academy Awards,
including one for Rita Moreno, who won for Best Supporting Actress for her role
as Anita, gang leader Bernardo's girlfriend.  But as Rita shows in her new
one-woman show "Rita Moreno:  Life Without Make-up" now premiering at the
Berkeley Rep Theater in Berkeley California, she has had a career well beyond
that film. She is one of only a handful of performers to win an Oscar, Emmy,
Tony and a Grammy Award.  But there was frustration too:  as a Puerto Rican
actress in 1950's and 1960s Hollywood, she was, as she says the "resident
utility ethnic" playing Native Americans, a girl from Thailand, a Polynesian,
and often prostitutes and spitfires.  And there was also had heartbreak, with
an ill-starred love affair with Marlon Brando. Rita Moreno shares her
memories of "West Side Story" and a lifetime of performing on today's Here & Now.

Here & Now airs at noon on WOUB Public Media's FM Network