The singer-actress brings down the house playing the world-weary, funny, roll-with-the-punches Lady from the Road in the musical “Blues in the Night.” The show is enjoying an extended run onstage at the Post Street Theatre in San Francisco through Oct. 28.
Where did you learn to sing the blues? Life. Just life. My background is from the Pentecostal church, from singing gospel in church.
How did you get your start in show business? This is atrue story. I was working as a nurse at Queens General for $66 a week when I went to take a test to work for the post office. While there, I was asked to sing at the post office dance at Frank’s Steakhouse in New York. I did, and Frank hired me on the spot.
What would you say is your most pivotal role? “One Mo’ Time” was my first equity show; it was at the infamous Village Gate where jazz enthusiasts convened.
Are you in San Francisco for the first time for “Blues in the Night”? No, I was here doing “Chicago” and “The Full Monty.”
Where are you hanging out during your stay? What have you been doing when you’re not onstage? We had a ladies’ afternoon at Burke Williams Spa. I’ve been to Morton’s for dinner after the show. I went to see Denise Perrier at Jazz at Pearl’s. She was fabulous. I’ve been to Sausalito and Pier 39. I haven’t been shopping.
What are you looking forward to? Doing TV — a sitcom — and making a gospel album. That’s something I’ve been anticipating for a long time.
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