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The Nita and Zita Story: A Documentary – Room 6042

April 12 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Picture this: Gypsy Rose Lee meets Grey Gardens meets Sisterhood of the Traveling Underpants … with a dash of Fiddler on the Roof.

This is the extraordinary story of outsider artists, Nita & Zita, who blazed a trail to international stardom, then became eccentric recluses, weaving their mythology into the very fabric of New Orleans. Nita & Zita were Jewish Hungarian sisters who immigrated to New York City in 1922, then became glittering globetrotters, performing around the world from Shanghai to Havana to San Francisco. They eventually bought a cottage in New Orleans which they painted top to bottom with dots and flowers. They spent the rest of their lives as recluses. After they died, their neighbor found thousands of handmade costumes in their home, and she held a yard sale that lasted five years. As Nita & Zita’s items went out into the world, so did pieces of their story, which inspired and impacted artists all over the world.

Filmmakers Marci Darling and Sharon Gillen are passionate about smashing Jewish stereotypes, gender stereotypes, dancer stereotypes, and socioeconomic injustices through innovative visual storytelling. This film will shine a new light on an aspect of American history and culture that is rarely illuminated, the stories of burlesque dancers, acrobats, contortionists, and the people who dare to step into the ring and take big risks in order to make their living as performers.

Dancers are ephemeral — when they die, their art goes with them, unless someone tells their story.

We are telling their story.


April 12
8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
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6th Floor – Panoramic Theater – 6042
2100 M St NW
Washington, DC 20037 United States


Marci Darling
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