Most actors start their “weekend” after the final bows of a Sunday matinee and don’t plan to step on a stage again until Tuesday night. This Sunday, Tony-winner Faith Prince and the touring company of “Billy Elliot” will play their ninth performance of the week — albeit in a variety cabaret of their own design — to benefit the Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation.
REAF has staged these “One Night Only” cabarets with more than 33 shows visiting San Francisco, in addition to producing several annual gala events. It has disbursed more than $2.5 million to local AIDS-services providers.
“There’s always a gala or event,” Prince says. “I could do a benefit at least once a week, if not twice, for the rest of my career. I have to pick and choose where I give my time. This felt important.”
Important enough to postpone dashing off to Sacramento, which is home base for Prince, musician-husband Larry Lunetta and their son, Henry.
Being close but not quite close enough to go home every night has been odd for Prince: “I’ll just get home and settled and have so many things to catch up on that one day and then have to be right back on Tuesday night ready to do a show.”
She has been able to spend more time with her son, who visits her in San Francisco, but less with her husband. “He’s with Sacramento Music Circus and this is their really busy time.”
Born in Georgia and working on Broadway, Prince saw her life staying on the East Coast. Then the family moved to Los Angeles for work and she discovered the Sacramento area. “I really love having that place of respite to go to that is so different,” she says. “It just feels so comforting to live there.”
The role in the “Billy Elliot” tour was an attractive enough opportunity to entice her to leave that comfort for a while. “I wanted to do the role when they first brought it over to Broadway, but I was committed to other things,” Prince says.
With the tour ending Aug. 21, Prince is ready to be enticed again. “I’d like a good series,” she says with an eye toward an easy L.A. commute.
For the rest of her time here, she’ll continue to inspire a rotating cast of young lads to dance, eight times a week.
One Night Only: Faith Prince and the cast of ‘Billy Elliot’
Featuring: Faith Prince, John Lloyd Young, Wesla Whitfield, Shawn Ryan
Where: Marines’ Memorial Theatre, 609 Sutter St., San Francisco
When: 8 p.m. Sunday
Tickets: $25 to $95
Contact: (415) 273-1620, www.helpisontheway.org