Almog Pail returns to Feinstein’s/54 Below April 20 with the solo show Me, Myself and Rita, a portrait of Hollywood 1940s star Rita Hayworth.
Pail has been developing the show since 2010, presenting it at the United Solo festival in 2015, and bringing it previously to Feinstein's/54 Below in October 2016. She described it as “an unconventional dialogue about Hollywood glamour girl Rita Hayworth’s life and struggle with Alzheimer’s. A demented diva’s post-stardom life confronts her on-screen image. Characters from her past come to life [including] dance partner Fred Astaire, scandalous lover Orson Welles, and most importantly—herself. She recruits the audience to help patch her puzzled memory.”
Along the way, Pail will interpret songs from some of Hayworth‘s films including “Put The Blame on Mame” (from Gilda), “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered” (Pal Joey), and “Please Don't Kiss Me” (The Lady from Shanghai).
Pail told Playbill, “I was first fascinated by the story of Rita Hayworth when I discovered she had struggled with early-onset Alzheimer's at a time when there was absolutely no awareness of the disease. She was secluded by the industry and labeled as mentally ill or alcoholic. I was personally touched by her unfortunate career deterioration since I experienced Alzheimer's in my family for years. Rita became the first public figure to be associated with Alzheimer's awareness. However my story of Rita goes way beyond that. It focuses on her troubled love life, being married and divorced for five times to powerful (and overpowering) men, such as Orson Welles and Prince Ali Khan. Although she was simply looking to be loved for who she really was behind cameras, disassociated from the sexy seductive characters she was often cast for. ‘When they went to bed with Gilda, they were surprised to wake up with me,’ she once said.”
Jay Stern directs. Logan Medland (currently in the orchestra for the Broadway musical A Bronx Tale) serves as musical director.
Raised in Israel, Pail has worked Off-Broadway and in film and television, both in New York and abroad.
Me, Myself and Rita plays at 9:30 PM at Feinstein’s/ 54 Below, located at 254 W. 54th Street. There is a $25–$60 cover charge and a $25 food and drink minimum. Tickets can be ordered at 54Below.com. After 4 PM on the day of performance tickets are available only by calling (646) 476-3551.