Rita Hayworth


Starring Quinn Lemley

Written and Directed by Carter Inskeep.


Atomic Bombshell Wows Critics and Audiences Alik

Audiences could soon be delighting in an intimate, tuneful, laugh-out-loud memoir recounting the stratospheric rise and cataclysmic free-fall of Rita Hayworth, starring the sensational Quinn Lemley.

Frank Sinatra called Rita Hayworth "the woman that built Columbia Studios." The Wall Street Journal says of Lemley's portrayal, "It would be impossible to find another singer-actress with the talent, the charm, the energy and the vivaciousness, not to mention the sensuality to pull it off.”

The Golden Age of Hollywood is laid bare by the unblinking eyes of the brassy actress who inspired generations as film noir icon "Gilda." Your patrons come face-to-face with "The Love Goddess" and soon learn that she's a dazzling hostess. Singing and dancing while spinning engrossing tales, she genially bewitches the audience into joining her on an uncensored yet sentimental journey. Recounting seldom-told stories, she allows intriguing glimpses into the social mores of mid-century Hollywood. Rita owns up to her life-long obsession with movie stardom. She reveals unique insights into the fight she waged to remain an independent woman, despite the skullduggery of men like Columbia Pictures Chairman Harry Cohn. As for coming to terms with her fiery love life, like Gilda, Rita doesn't pull any punches. Struggling to explain her relationships with the likes of Howard Hughes, Orson Welles and Prince Aly Khan, she quips "I didn't plan on having five husbands. It just happened that way!"

With legendary beauty, song, dance, warmth of spirit and honest, earthy humor, Rita entrances her audience, transporting them to another time and place. In the end, this is an uplifting tale. Though her reflections end in heartbreaking tragedy, her spirit remains indomitable

“Quinn Lemley seduces to ovational roars!”

Rita Hayworth's tempestuous life is presented in concert, featuring over 20 classic tunes from the Great American Songbook, including:

            Accentuate the Positive

            Bewitched (Bothered and Bewildered)

            The Lady is a Tramp

            Put the Blame On Mame

            That's All

            That Old Black Magic


THE HEAT IS ON! has won critical acclaim at many of the nation’s top theaters and performing arts centers, including The Kravis Center, Tilles Center and The Naples Philharmonic Arts Center. This "tour encore" was inspired by an invitation to perform a one-night-only event at New York City’s iconic 54 Below. We filled the room laughter, tears and ultimately a rousing standing ovation then realized, it was time to bring Rita back.

You dont even have to squint your eyes to think Rita is in the room!

The New York Post


Read Will Friedwald's Review!

This is a live original cast recording of the hot off Broadway show based on the life of Rita Hayworth incorporating the intoxicating music from Miss Hayworth's illustrious career performed by Quinn Lemley and her quartet.

The Heat Is On! is about 2 things, and they both concern the intrinsically conflicting states of fantasy and reality.

This is a theme that occurs and re-occurs throughout this one-woman theatrical piece in which Quinn Lemley explores the life and career of screen goddess Rita Hayworth.

Over the course of an hour and change and some 14 songs, Lemley gradually develops the acute contrast between the glamorous images Hayworth projected on the screen and the often-dismal reality of her actual life.

Her relationships with men are a key element-from her abusive father to her five husbands.

As Lemley makes clear, Hayworth was regarded by zillions of moviegoers as Hollywood's ultimate femme fatale, yet off-camera she had a hard time holding onto the men she loved, and undoubtedly fared worse at the end of Cupid's arrow than most "normal" women.

But there's more to the Hayworth saga than bad news-Lemley rightfully also celebrates the upbeat side of the story, and that is The Great Lady's musical and cinematic legacy.

Here too, illusion and reality are the buzzwords.

On one level, Hayworth was one of the all-time great leading ladies of the movie musical, on a par with say, Ginger Rogers or Betty Grable.

No one minds much that Hayworth couldn't do her own singing-40 years after she danced her last step, her image remains as powerful and potent as ever.

But what isn't said often enough is that Hayworth inspired one of the most significant bodies of music ever left to us by a performer- a group of songs that ranks with the very best that Tin Pan Alley had to offer in the '40's and '50's.

Quinn finds hidden gems even in these much-mined channels, such as "SHORTY GEORGE", which provides a welcome opportunity for musical director Bob McDowell to join her in song.

Indeed, rediscovery could be Lemley's middle name (even though, to be honest, "swinging" and "spellbinding", not to mention "drop dead gorgeous" come to mind first), and she makes a most eloquent case for any number of songs written for Hayworth flicks.

She climaxes with Hayworth's single best-known song, "Put the Blame On Mame", an anthem of female empowerment, if ever there was one, and appropriately the work of a female songwriter, Doris Fisher.

Lemley celebrates the Hayworth life and legacy with warmth and humor, not to mention panache by the carload.

It's a rare treat to experience one great performer wrapping herself up in the musical wardrobe of another.

The pairing of Lemley and Hayworth is indeed a perfect fit-at times she could almost be Hayworth reincarnated-but throughout it's clear that Lemley isn't merely aping the legendary star but embodying her.

It would be well nigh impossible to another singer-actress with the talent, the charm, the energy and the vivaciousness, not to mention the sensuality to pull it off.

Lemley dances in our dreams.

Written by Will Friedwald


  • Startling embodiment of legendary Hayworth. Quinn seductively takes you through the highs and lows of this icon’s life.
  • You don’t have to squint your eyes to think Rita’s in the room.
  • An arrow aimed straight into the target. Glamour, verve and eerie perfection, Lemley divined the image and demons of Hayworth.
  • Quinn sizzles! A finely crafted, take you by the hand with Hayworth as she invites you into the crevasses of her heart.
  • The A List. She’s Hot!
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The Heat Is On!

Original cast recording!

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