• Blog,  Concerts

    Rita Moreno Visited My Alma Mater!!

    First off, actress Rita Moreno is a National Treasure.

    She is still going strong at 92 years of age.

    She has won an Oscar, a Tony, two Emmy awards, a Grammy, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the National Medal of Arts, and was the first Latina woman to win the Kennedy Center Honors.  That’s just some of her awards.

    And of course the body of work she has done over the years:  movies such as Singin’ In The Rain, The King And I, West Side Story (original and remake), Television shows such as The Electric Company, Oz, One Day at A Time, and tons of others, and in stage plays of Guys And Dolls, The Odd Couple, and so much more.

    Trust me, you should go look at her list of credits.  It’s amazing.

    Now why am I saying all of this besides just being a fan?  She came to my Alma Mater, which is Ohio University Southern Campus in Ironton, OH (which Rita called “My little “Puerto Rico”!) to speak and to raise some money for camp kids.

    Her manager, who is also a member of the Rotary Club of Ironton who was one of the sponsors of this event, emceed this once in a lifetime opportunity to see and hear who I am once again calling a National Treasure.

    Miss Moreno talked about growing up in Puerto Rico, then moving to New York as a very young child, getting into dancing, being discovered by a talent agent at MGM, meeting Louis B. Mayer (the founder and head of MGM), and getting a contract with them.

    She talked about some of her many projects she has done, including West Side Story, The Electric Company, and even Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, in which she took her family with her to be on that show.  Great stories there.

    She talked about working with Mr. Norman Lear on his remake of the series One Day at a Time for four seasons and how the two of them once played a joke about her having Mr. Lear’s “love child” (Mr. Lear’s idea).  Very funny story.

    She talked about being present in Washington, D.C. to see Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and how she said that was not initially going to be his speech.  Great story there too.

    She talked about her great mother, and about how she had some very funny ways of saying things (calling beaches “bitches”, sheets “shits” are just two examples).  Very funny. 

    She also talked about some of her bad times in life, and how you just need to hang on and hang in there when times are bad.  She also said Psychotherapy helped her a lot too.

    Those are just some of the things she talked about.

    And she also sang a little bit too.  She sang about dreaming and it was very heartfelt and meaningful.

    Rita Moreno may be a huge star, and she definitely is, but after seeing and hearing her in person, I can say she is definitely human and a great one at that.

    Thank you so much Miss Moreno for gracing us in Ironton, OH with your presence, humor, and realness.

    And as I’m typing this, it’s the day before the oldest Memorial Day Parade anywhere, and I heard you say you were going to be there too.  I hope that even if it rains (it almost always rains during this parade) that you still have a great time and enjoy it.

    And please feel free to visit Ironton, OH again someday.  You are always welcome.

    All the best to you always.

    Thank you.

    Oh and since you said you love to play Scrabble, I welcome you to come and play Scrabble with my family anytime because they play it for hours on certain occasions.

    Again, thank you Miss Moreno.

  • Blog,  Movie Reviews

    Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

    I’ve been a fan of the Planet of the Apes franchise since I was a teenager.

    I’ve loved all of them.  Even the one Tim Burton made I eventually liked.

    So I was really looking forward to seeing the latest one, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes.

    It occurs generations after the last trilogy of movies, but still has all the ingredients of a Planet of the Apes story.

    I’m not going to spoil anything here, but I will say that if you are a fan, I cannot imagine you not loving this movie.

    I think it may be one of my favorites of the franchise.  It is so well done.  And the story is really good and the door has been left wide open for more.  I’ve read that the hope is that this movie is the start of a new trilogy.  We’ll see but I sure hope that is the case.

    I love this movie.

    In a word, it is Fantastic.