Bringing the tinsel to town
By Steve Vaughan, The Virginia Gazette (09/19/07)

Actress Victoria Racimo active in theater, film and opera

Victoria Racimo is sort of a one-woman arts dynamo in greater Williamsburg.

A resident of New York with a home inn Ford’s Colony, she’s made it her mission to bring arts events and “name talent” to town.

Racimo is a former actress. She parlayed her exotic looks into a career inn film and television in the 1060’s and ‘70s, often playing Native Americans. She appeared with Charlton Heston in “The Mountain Men,” and with George C. Scott in “Day of the Dolphin.” She had regular roles on the TV series “The Chisolms” and “Falcon Crest.”

She’s perhaps best known locally for writing and directing “Journey of Destiny,” the play on the Jamestown story that climaxed the closing festivities of Anniversary Weekend in May.

She also produced a series of “radio plays” at the Williamsburg Library, including a sold-out “War of the Worlds” in 2005 that was so successful it will likely be repeated.

In addition to her acting, writing and directing talents, it wouldn’t be surprising if Racimo is an accomplished juggler – she manages to keep a number of balls in the air simultaneously.

Next month, she will bring two event to Williamsburg.

Opening Oct. 2 at the Kimball Theatre is a film Racimo executive produced called “Casi Casi.” The showings here are the film’s theatrical premiere.

“It’s a romantic comedy,” she said of the film and its PG-13 rating. “It’s what movies should be: good, wholesome family fun.”

The dialogue is in Spanishe with English subtitles. It won three Best Film awards at festivals, beating out “Akilah and the Bee” at the Philadelphia Film Festival and Antonio Banderas’ “Take the Lead” at the San Diego Latino Film Festival in 2006.

The film has been sold to HBO, which will air it later this year.

Later in October, Racimo will bring high culture to the Historic Triangle, directing a performance by stars of the New York City Opera and the Metropolitan Opera, Tonna Miller and Jennifer Hines. The performance, dubbed “Opera Times Two and Sondheim, Too” will be at the Williamsburg Library, part of the annual Dewey Decibel Concert Series. In addition to opera, Miller and Hines will perform show tunes.

Opera is one of Racimo’s enthusiasms, and she’s working on a new opera project. “My partner and I have obtained the rights to make an opera based on the classic film, “On The Waterfront,” she said.
The 1954 Elia Kazan classic earned Marlon Brando his first Academy Award for his portrayal of an ex-boxer caught up in the world of the mob-controlled New York docks.

Racimo said she is in early talks with composer David Carlson, who wrote the music for the operatic version of “Anna Karenina,” and with financial backers.

“These days one needs a consortium of opera companies to commission and debut a new work,” she said.

Racimo has more planned for 2008. In February she’ll produce a concert by Chinese pianist Xiayin Wang at the Kimball. Racimo’s company, Palomino Entertainment Group, produced the pianist’s debut at New York’s Carnegie Hall in April.

“She’s an extraordinary talent,” Racimo said.