EGOT-winning legend Rita Moreno brought something extra special to the Boston Pops July Fourth celebration on Wednesday.
At the fireworks spectacular celebrating America’s independence, the actress delivered a rousing and impactful reading of Emma Lazarus’ poem “The New Colossus” while the Boston Pops orchestra played in the background.
Moreno began by describing her first sighting of the Statue of Liberty and how it made her feel “so wonderful” and that there was nothing under the sun that could make her feel better, before launching into Lazarus’ words — the very ones that adorn the statue and call for America to welcome all to its shores.
“Give me your tired, your poor/ Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free/ The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me/ I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” cried Moreno as the accompanying music reached a crescendo, undoubtedly raising hairs on every arm in the audience.
The Puerto Rican star then switched things up, performing part of West Side Story’s “America,” alongside Natalie Cortez (who has also played Anita in the Broadway hit), complete with hip sashaying and plenty of the number’s signature sass.
Watch the star-spangled moment above.