Jake LaMotta's revealing theatrical tell-all, "Lady and the Champ," in which the legendary pugilist and New York fixture shares the stage with Denise Baker in an evening of stories, videos, and song and dance, performs a special two-week engagement from July 19 to 29 at the Richmond Shepard Theatre, 309 East 26th Street. Written by Bonnie Lee Sanders and Denise Baker, with stage direction by Baker and music direction by Joel Diamond, "Lady and the Champ" features Carl Shimkin and Patrick Jude.
Climbing through the ranks, "Lady and the Champ" oughta be a contender for Off-Off-Broadway review status. Its previous "non-title" runs were at the Triad Theatre on the Upper West Side and Feinstein's at the Loews Regency on the East Side.
The show plays four previews beginning Thursday July 19 at 7pm, with an opening on Sunday July 22 at 3pm.
In "Lady and the Champ" LaMotta relates, in ribald detail, his years as a boxer, and, later on, post-retirement, his many years owning bars, working as a stand-up, and racking up a long list of wives. He developed the show with Baker, to whom he affectionately refers as his future seventh wife, "lucky #7."
The former world middleweight champion, whose career in and out of the ring dating back to the FDR presidency has been the stuff of legend, was famously portrayed by Robert DeNiro in the 1980 film "Raging Bull," which earned the actor a hard-fought Academy Award. Curiously, LaMotta is currently being sued by MGM, the studio that made the film, to prevent a sequel based on LaMotta's 1986 memoir "Raging Bull II" from being made. LaMotta, who was born in 1922, turns 90 on July 10.
"Lady and the Champ" plays from Thursday July 19 through Sunday July 29, at Richmond Shepard Theatre, 301 East 26th Street (at 2nd Avenue). The Off-Off Broadway opening is set for Sunday July 22. Tickets are $25. For reservations call the theatre's box office at 212/684-2690.