Celina Consuela Gabriella Carvajal is coming home to San Francisco for a visit. She’s bringing along a couple of alter egos – Tony-winning actress Lena Hall and hard-rockin’ front woman for The Deafening – and will make a two-performance debut at Feinstein’s at the Nikko this weekend.
“I’m still Celina to those who have known me forever,” says Hall. “It’s weird though because every once in awhile someone who’s known me for a long time will call me Lena. I’m like, ‘Whoa, dude, that’s weird.’ because I consider it such a professional thing. But you know, Lena was a nickname given to me by a friend, so it’s all fine.”
Hall loves telling people she’s from San Francisco – like really San Francisco. “Born and raised in the Haight Ashbury!” she proclaims. “A lot of people say they’re from San Francisco and they’re really from the Bay Area. I feel like it’s badass to be like from San Francisco, from like inside of San Francisco.”
Amazingly, Hall, 35, is doing press interviews on the day before her final performance of the role that put her on the entertainment map and garnered that Tony. “It’s just such a hard thing to even wrap my head around. I can’t even…it’s better that I’m talking to people and having interviews because then I can’t like focus on it.”
The role is Yitzak, the long-suffering, aspiring drag queen husband of the titular (and only other) character in the current hit revival of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.”
To view photos of Hall’s transformation from her natural Katy Perry-esque pertness to the sideburned sadsack roadie is astonishing. “I’m happy to be going at this juncture, because my body needs to repair. I’m really like starting to hurt a lot,” she says after a year of lugging heavy music equipment around stage as part of her role. “Also, I need to, you know, come back to my girliness. Wear some heels!”
Her act, which she will fine tune at Café Carlyle in New York before flying West, will not be a Deafening concert. It will also not be the usual cabaret fare.
“Because I’m a Broadway performer, they’re expecting Broadway. They’re expecting standards, but that’s not what reflects me. I’m not like a Broadway performer doing a cabaret act and talking about, ‘Oh, when I met Stephen Sondheim…’ Nah. Ick. Don’t expect that.”
Instead, audiences should expect the work of David Bowie, Jack White, James Brown and Blind Faith. In Hall’s words, “a very soulful, very blues rock, very blues evening with some tender moments, and some unexpected moments, but mostly deep down singin’.”
IF YOU GO
Where: Feinstein’s at the Nikko, 220 Mason St., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. April 24, 7 p.m. April 25
Tickets: $40 to $55
Contact: (866) 663-1063, www.ticketweb.com