Diosa, inspired by the life of legendary movie star Rita Hayworth, centers on Josefa, a beautiful young girl who rises from her parent's ballroom dancing act to film stardom. Hayworth (born Margarita Carmen Cansino) was the child of Spanish-born dancer Eduardo Cansino and "Ziegfeld Follies" girl Volga Hayworth. She began her career dancing before being discovered by a Fox executive at the age of 17. The show is described as being very dance intensive.
Melia Bensussen directs a cast that is headed up by Karina Michaels as the starlet. Michaels was in the Goodspeed production of They All Laughed! in nearby East Haddam and also played opposite Placido Domingo in the Metropolitan Opera’s "The Merry Widow."
De Guzman, who plays mother to the young dancer, starred as Sarah in the Broadway revival of Guys and Dolls, opposite Nathan Lane, Faith Prince and Peter Gallagher. She also appeared as Maria in the 1980 Broadway revival of West Side Story.
The cast also includes Roderick Hill (Cymbeline Theatre for a New Audience), Robert Mantano, Matthew Mabe (Iceman Cometh, Cobb) and Edmond Genest (The Elephant Man, Dance of Death).
Hartford Stage previously produced two works currently on the boards in New York City. Both Tea at Five with Kate Mulgrew and the upcoming Enchanted April with Molly Ringwald began at the Connecticut stage. For more information on Hartford Stage, in CT, call (860) 527-5151. Also, visit them on the web at www.hartfordstage.org.