The Story

“The Rita Hayworth of this Generation” is the story of a queer femme, Carmelita Cristina Rivera, who strives to be featured on the TV show "Stars that are Living!" Carmelita labors to win the heart of Jesus Antonio Atano, the Famous Transgender Latino Blackjack King of Vegas. A love triangle forms when Angel, her production manager and a Puerto Rican Butch, falls in-love with Carmelita. Las Vegas is a place of Magical Realism. A place in which steamy passion, heartache, gambling, and stardom collide in a queer film noir - where the living converge with "Stars that are Dead: in a Celebrity Purgatory and Carmelita receives guidance from the legend herself, Rita Hayworth

The Rita Hayworth of This Generation places queer people of color, Femme, Butch, and Transgender characters at the center of a turbulent drama. The piece features elements of film noir, slapstick comedy, and magical realism, while masterfully blending historical references to old Hollywood cinema. The audience is introduced to a fictionalized contemporary version of the legendary Spanish Hollywood movie star from the 1940's and 1950's, Rita Hayworth, born Margarita Carmen Cansino (1918-1987). We follow the protagonist, Carmelita, a queer Latina feminist on a journey of self-discovery; but before she can find answers inside herself, she faces heartbreak, shame, and failure.




Tina D'Elia's "Best of Fringe" award winning one-woman-show trailer for her show "The Rita Hayworth of this Generation" performed and written by Tina D'Elia & directed by Mary Guzman. For bookings contact:



“Tina D’Elia has that Magic talent; to have fun and to move the audience at the same time. Extraordinary!”

”She has that magic talent that the legendary Charles Ludlum.”
— David Ford (Director, Playwright, Goldie Winner)
“The Rita Hayworth of this Generation, Tina D’Elia is incandescent. Her words, her mind, her heart, her presence - these all burn white-hot, like a welder’s torch. Where she places her focus, things transform!”
— Marcus Ewert (Nominated Author)
“Hold onto your hats! Tina takes over the stage like a summer storm — brilliantly flashing between characters at lightning speed. Hilarious, sassy, smart, impressive!”
— Sean Dorsey (Award Winning Dancer/Choreographer, Sean Dorsey)
“The Rita Hayworth of this Generation Tina D’Elia a Tour de Force!”
— Dee Dee Hallack (Paper Tiger TV Founder)
“See Tina D’Elia’s tour de force, slice of life portrait of an intriguing array of queer and transgender characters living their lives and realizing their dreams.”
— Velina Brown
“Tina D’Elia’s solo comedy spins a queer and ethnically rich world that straddles the living and the dead in a Las Vegas that, let’s face it, lies somewhere between those two poles already. Drawing on her own professional obsession with Rita Hayworth (née Margarita Carmen Cansino), the ethnically neutered Hispanic star of 1940s Hollywood, D’Elia plays Carmelita, an ambitious Rita Hayworth impersonator who gets entangled with a Latino/a transgender blackjack champion with a drinking problem and too many deals with the devil. D’Elia (under director Mary Guzmán), in a production with few frills, proves a sharp and engaging performer, her characters tending to be both endearing and amusingly full-bodied.”
— Robert Avila (San Francisco Bay Guardian)
“D’Elia is multi-talented – a versatile and very compelling performer. She sings, acts, does physical comedy and slapstick as well as changes characters physically and vocally every minute or two speaking fast paced dialogue in both English and Spanish (depending on which character she is playing)! Her voice ranges from cool and husky resonant speaking to lyrical when singing and everything else in between.”
— Jo Tomalin (UK Review of Fringe Festival)




written & performed by TINA D'ELIA
directed by MARY GUZMÁN
stage manager MEJA TYEHIMBA
movement consultant SEAN DORSEY
solo performance coach/consultant DAVID FORD