In the autumn of 1971, Miss Macy advised her 3rd grade students to watch a new cool show titled "The Electric Company," which starred Bill Cosby. Instead of going home to watch reruns of "Magilla Gorilla" cartoons, the more discerning 8 year old could now accept more culturally significant programming. Each showed opened with a cute lady screaming, "HEY YOU GUYS!" The cute lady was Rita Moreno, who played multiple characters on the show, most memorably as Lilly in the "Lick A Lolly" song.
Upon the completion of 8th grade, Cinema Dave noticed that Rita Moreno sang one of his favorite songs, "America" from the musical theatre classic, "West Side Story." Upon completion of High School, Cinema Dave saw her skinny dipping with Jack Weston in Alan Alda's comedy, "The Four Seasons."
Rita Moreno will be featured in Steven Spielberg's remake of "West Side Story," which opens this December 10th the day before her 90th birthday. The winner of an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Awards as well as the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Rita Moreno has earned the right to be celebrated for her longevity and consistent work ethic.
Opening this weekend locally is the documentary, "Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It." This documentary celebrates her triumphant career from MGM stock player to Modern Icon. Narrating her own story with professional charm, Moreno also reveals the dark side of her life; including an abortion, a suicide attempt and a torrid affair with Marlon Brando.
With her political agenda firmly in place, "Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It" does present the story this Puerto Rican Icon wishes us to see. Those who accept her political persuasion will appreciate this documentary.
The Electric Company - Lick a Lolly Song
West Side Story - America