When my wife Rita met you, it was a fair bet that within 10 minutes you would know her entire life story and she yours. People loved her because she wanted them to love her and she worked hard to achieve that. She gave of her time and her energy, but most importantly, she gave of herself.
When she was fifty she became involved with her church theater group. And if you remember a Los Angeles TV program called “Talk Soup”, Rita played Jon Henson’s mother occasionally. I think that had she started earlier, she might have been really something. Hell, she was really something, people just didn’t have the opportunity to find out about her. So I’d like to rectify that.
Rita Culp died in April of 2010. The header on my website says, “Great Voices of Opera …. Plus.” The plus is Rita.
Here are two videos of Rita at work. In the first she plays The Nightingale of Samarkand in Once Upon A Mattress. The director decided to expand upon the part and gave Rita leave to improvise as she chose. She did.
In the second, she plays Mrs. Paroo in The Music Man. Rita had to learn an Irish brogue for the part and a friend suggested she see, Father Harris, a local Catholic priest who was Irish. He tutored her so well that for the next 20 years she would slip in and out of her Irish to the annoyance of all around! It wasn’t until after their sessions were completed that the priest mentioned that he had a brother who acted. Richard Harris.