‘LiLia’ to play one night at CMU

TARA WHITTAKER/Special to the Sentinel Libby Skala will perform her one-woman show “LiLiA!” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, at Robinson Theatre at Colorado Mesa University. “LiLiA!” is about Libby Skala’s grandmother, Lilia Skala, who was a Broadway and Oscar-nominated actress.

The internationally-acclaimed one-woman show “LiLiA!” makes a stop in Grand Junction for one night only as writer and actor Libby Skala takes her biographical play about her grandmother on a North American tour.

Libby’s grandmother was Lilia Skala, a former Broadway performer and actress nominated for an Oscar in 1963 for her role in “Lilies of the Field” opposite Sidney Poitier. In addition, Lilia Skala married into a Jewish family and fled Europe to America in the late 1930s as Hitler rose to power.

Lilia Skala died in 1994. She was 98.

Libby Skala weaves the memories of her grandmother, plus stories of her grandmother’s life, into the play, which she’ll perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, in Robinson Theatre in Colorado Mesa University’s Moss Performing Arts Center.

The performance is of special significance for Grand Junction because Lilia Skala first visited the city in November 1965 at the suggestion of Bill Robinson, the namesake of CMU’s main theater and longtime, former director of the university’s theater department.

Robinson and Lilia Skala became friends while both were in New York City, according to The Daily Sentinel 1965 article about her local appearance and performance. (She came to Grand Junction five times between 1965 and 1981 as a guest artist.)

In a letter Libby Skala wrote on libbyskala.com, she said, “The lessons continue as I have the privilege of performing this play — not only as a tribute to my grandmother, but as an ever-evolving experience between actor and audience.”

Libby first performed the play in its entirety in 1999.

Tickets to “LiLiA!” are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $6 for students. They are available at the CMU Box Office, 248-1604.


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