courtesy photoBroadway and West End performer Sierra Boggess brings her cabaret act to San Francisco this week.

Broadway’s Sierra Boggess awakens to inspiration

Few performers get to explore the same character in two different musicals on Broadway and in London’s West End, but Sierra Boggess has managed it.

The silvery soprano, who makes a return visit to Feinstein’s at the Nikko this week, portrayed opera singer Christine Daaé in both “The Phantom of the Opera” and its sequel, “Love Never Dies.” She even essayed the part in the revised “spectacular” version of “Phantom” that played Las Vegas for an extended run.

In between, she went under the sea for a couple of years as Ariel in the Broadway production of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.”

In 2012, she took a rocky ride on the road to Manderley in the aborted New York premiere of the musical adaptation of “Rebecca” that crashed and burned in one of the bigger financial disasters on Broadway since the excesses of “Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark.”

The next year, “The Prince of Broadway” with directors Hal Prince and Susan Stroman also got derailed.

“‘Rebecca’ was a big, huge scandal,” Boggess says. “Who knows what the real story is on that?”

The on-again, off-again saga, beset with fictional investors and allegations of producer fraud, was frustrating. At the same time, it was character-building for the singer. She says her cabaret act “takes the pain out of having a couple different Broadway shows that I was tied to not coming through and channels it.

“In this business, really in most any career, we define ourselves by what we do. What I discovered is that we are not what we do, what we have, or what people think of us. We are so much more than that. I don’t just want to be defined by my shows.”

She found inspiration in a book titled “Inspiration” by motivational speaker Wayne Dyer.

“He writes about different things that inspire him, how all of us can be inspired. So I reminded myself of everything that inspires me and fuels me, whether it’s nature or my father or singing, and then going back to people that gave me my start — Andrew Lloyd Weber and Hal Prince and Gillian Lynne — and honoring all these different parts of my life. It’s been the most incredible thing.”

Her cabaret show, which was recorded live for the CD “Awakenings” at New York’s 54 Below nightclub, also gives nods to vocal inspirations like Barbra Streisand. “I do a whole section about her in my show. She’s my biggest inspiration!”


Sierra Boggess

Where: Feinstein’s at the Nikko, 222 Mason St., S.F.

When: 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 7 p.m. Saturday

Tickets: $40 to $55

Contact: (415) 394-1111, www.feinsteinssf.comartsAwakeningsFeinstein’s at the NikkoPop Music & JazzSierra Boggess

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