This is a post from my friend Peggy’s Caring Bridge website. However, many of you know Conchita and those of you who don’t should so I thought I would repost here.
It looks like both Peggy and her friend Scary Conchita will be finished with their cancer treatments this week. It is so ironic that these two old showgirls would end up in treatment together. It’s been a long haul and they are both sick of having cancer and ready to get back to work. While Peg has a few things lined up, Conchita has not been as successful at procuring employment. Since many of you do not know her she asked me if I wouldn’t mind saying a few words about her resume here in case any of you hear of anything for her. Since she and Peg go way back I don’t think Peg will mind us using her webpage.
Scary Conchita made her debut when she was simply known as Conchita. She appeared in Evita at the Grand Dinner Theater as Peron’s Mistress’ Doll. The Mistress was played by the talented , lovely and then young Beverly Ward. Even though Bev was fantastic in the roll the scene belonged to Conchita and from out of nowhere a star was born. When Evita closed she was thoughtlessly put into storage by Propmaster Graham Poole until she emerged one Halloween night during the run of Sugar Babies. Among the “Sugar Babies” were Peggy Hickey, Beverly Ward, Tracy Lore and myself, DeAnne Spicer. That Halloween night 1986 Bev rescued Conchita and one of her mistress slippers from a box and the two of us ran in to each dressing room yelling, “OOH Scary Conchita” and “AHH Scary Slipper.” I remember people basically ignored us, but what happened later is dinner theater history. As if by magic Conchita, now known as Scary, would start appearing on stage. We never knew when she might jump in and join us in a dance or sketch. On night when the curtain went up we found her sitting at a front table in the audience swilling martini after martini and once while we were sitting on stage during the Minstrel number we saw her swinging from the lights overhead. Sometimes her lack of professionalism was astonishing and it was always very very Scary.
Sugar Babies closed but Conchita was now hooked. Hi Ho the glamorous life! She continued to appear in other Grand Dinner Theater productions such as La Cage Aux Folles, and GiGi. Eventually she left dinner theater and found work in numerous productions around the country. Sometimes if she didn’t feel like performing she would just turn up sitting in your tap shoes during a quick change. This usually meant there was a particularly hard nosed director or producer lurking nearby who did not appreciate her talent.
After a while she felt she wasn’t being recognized as a true artist in Musical Theater and that her talents were being wasted so she decided she would upgrade to opera. She appeared in The Merry Widow, Don Giovanni and a few others. You might think it would have been difficult for Conchita to get past the opera stage managers at the Dorothy Chandler, but you don’t know our girl. In The Merry Widow she managed to get a table at Maxim’s and in Don Giovanni she performed her most dramatic roll to date, “aborted fetus #1”, carried by a harpie sent to drag the Don to hell.
She spent a few years in retirement but the bout with cancer has reminded her of what’s important… a triumphant return to the stage! She is in pretty good shape for her age, but unlike Peggy she has lost her hair. However, she comes with her own trunk of costumes and several wigs by Rick Geyer. That’s more than most of us can say.
For more information about Conchita please contact Peg. She’d love it.