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Lady and the Champ

July 24, 2012

The new play ” Lady and the Champ” about former middleweight champion Jake LaMotta and his lady, Denise Baker, was really well done and informative. The music, and an interview with LaMotta, conducted very well by boxing historian Carl Shimkin, alternate, and keep the play going at a nice pace. The singing of Patrick Jude and Bonnie Lee Sanders who co wrote the play along with Ms. Baker is also a treat. Musical direction is in the able hands of Joel Diamond.

LaMotta is 90 years old but still sharp. He gives good, informative, and often humorous answers. He also dances with Ms. Baker, who is a talented, attractive woman, and “shadow boxes” in addition to answering Shimkin’s questions. Jake rightfully calls Ray Robinson, known as “Sugar Ray” Robinson, the greatest pound for pound fighter ever. He recalls that Marcel Cerdan, from whom LaMotta won the middleweight title, died in a plane before their rematch. Having met both Cerdan and his lover, the great singer Edith Piaf, LaMotta called them both “nice people.”

Living 90 years plus and still going, LaMotta has had many ups and downs. Sadly, his two sons are gone and that plus Denise losing her parents brought the two together. Comforting, and then love. They are good together in real life and in this most enjoyable play. It is at Richmond Shepard Theatre. Three performances remain: at seven thirty on July 27th and 28th and at 3 P.M. on Sunday, July 29th.

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