Glancing at her resume, becoming a cabaret chanteuse would not seem to have been a primary goal for Emily Bergl.
However, despite making a splash on big and small screens for the last decade — her film debut was 1999’s “The Rage: Carrie 2” — music has always been lurking in the shadows just waiting to grab her by the arm.
“I played in jazz bands. I was in choirs. I did a lot of musicals in school. My career path just didn’t turn that way,” says Bergl, who appears at the Rrazz Room this week. “A couple of years ago I decided that I wanted music in back my life.”
By that time, she had appeared on Broadway with Laurence Fishburne and Stockard Channing in “The Lion in Winter,” and starred in Eugene O’Neill’s “A Touch of the Poet” opposite Gabriel Byrne.
In 2006 she landed the series “Men in Trees” with Anne Heche. She also did TV time on Wisteria Lane in “Desperate Housewives” simultaneous with a season on the TNT police drama “Southland.”
“Nobody knew I sang by then, so really I felt that one of my only options was to just make my own show,” she says. “It really was — whatever the word is between brave and egotistical — for me to create my own music show having no professional experience, but I felt there was a kind of evening that I wanted to do that I hadn’t exactly seen before.”
After touring her musical debut, a piece titled “Kidding on the Square,” around the country, this time her show is called “NY I Love You,” which she says is an abbreviated version of the song title “New York I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down.”
It’s a song about love for New York, but mixed with feelings about how New York has changed: “I wanted to do a show that wasn’t just a repertoire of songs we’ve all heard, talking about the lights of Broadway, and all the clichés that we all know.”
The engagement here reunites her with friend and colleague, San Francisco-based musical director G. Scott Lacy. “Scott launched my cabaret career with me and it’s really great for us to return to the Rrazz Room, which is one of the first places we ever performed the ‘Kidding on the Square’ show,” says Bergl. “We’re always going to be collaborators.”
IF YOU GO
Where: Rrazz Room, Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason St., S.F.
When: 9:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 7 p.m. Sunday
Contact: (800) 380-3095, www.therrazzroom.com