Letters to the editor

  • by BAR staff
  • Wednesday June 14, 2023
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Letters to the editor

Chita and Rita

That would make a good title for a musical. I was glad to read Brian Bromberger's review on Chita Rivera's memoir and magnificent career ["Chita Rivera's memoir shares the Broadway legend's life and career," May 16.] ()

Recently, I saw her on a TV interview talking about Sammy Davis Jr. The way she expressed her admiration for another great performer and minority member (he was Black, half Jewish, half Puerto Rican) was not clear to me. Now that I read she was romantically involved with him I admire her more.

It has been a mystery, at least for me, what the relationship, if any, is between these two great women, Chita Rivera and Rita Moreno. Bromberger claims Moreno reacted with anger when not accepting some roles, while Rivera fought back with her talent. What Moreno fought against was the typical Hollywood stereotype of roles for Blacks and Latinos — from the Indian to a prostitute. (The great and beautiful Maria Felix said why come here to play an Indian when she could do it in Mexico.) The same thing they did with the beautiful Lena Horne, making her look darker on the screen, they did with Moreno. Or playing exotic roles, like the daughter in "The King and I." It's great that both actresses fought for recognition in a different manner. Without them we would not have a Benicio del Toro or a Lin-Manuel Miranda making us proud of we are or where we come from.

Many thanks.

Jorge Rodriguez Sanabria

San Francisco

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