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Wednesday, 23 November 2022

REVIEW: Love Goddess, the Rita Hayworth Musical at the Cockpit Theatre

‘LOVE GODDESS The Rita Hayworth Musical’ at The Cockpit is a show with admirable intentions and ultimately, a loving tribute to Rita Hayworth, one of the formidable stars of the Hollywood golden age. The passion and heartfelt for her story are undeniably present in the cast of five multi-disciplined performers, but, unfortunately, it fails to push any boundaries to make this anything more than a light retelling of the starlet's life.

It began its life as a one-woman show called ‘Me, Myself and Rita’, created and performed by Almog Pail in 2017, it has since transformed into a two-act musical. Still starring Pail as the title role, she is now joined by Simon Kane (Orsen Welles and Harry Cohn), Imogen Kingsley-Smith (Young Rita), Jane Quinn (journalist Jules Graham and Hayworth’s mother Volga Cansino) and Joey Simon (Fred Astaire and Hayworth’s Father Eduardo Cansino). The show follows the life of Hayworth, born Margarita Carmen Cansino, from her days as a child dancer in Brooklyn to her breakout roles in Hollywood, her iconic portrayal of Gilda and finally her tragic defeat from Alzheimer’s disease. Intertwined within her career highlights are failed marriages, abuse and ultimately the story of a woman who never really wanted to be famous. Pail wrote the original play after her own family’s experience with Alzheimer’s which is a touching parallel and personal connection present in the work.
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