The 3-minute interview with Charlotte Rae

The 81-year-old singer-actress-comedian, who starred in “Diff’rent Strokes” and “The Facts of Life” and as Mrs. Peachum in the famed 1954 off-Broadway production of “The Threepenny Opera,” will premiere her solo cabaret show, “The Best of Cabaret,” tonight at the Empire Plush Room in San Francisco.

What inspired you to do your own cabaret show? Some people know me as Mrs. Garrett, but I had a whole other life before that. I went from Wisconsin to Northwestern. From there I went on to New York. Theater and Tony nominations, television and Emmy nominations, and film were all before the series. But I actually started out in cabaret and I haven’t done it in 55 years.

What should we expect from the show? I’m bringing back a lot of the songs from an album I made in 1955 that was reissued last year called “Songs I Taught My Mother” and also from “Threepenny Opera.” I talk about some of my experiences and different people I’ve worked with along the way. I’m talking about my philosophy and how I’m still learning that life is one long day at school.

At 81, it’s pretty brave of you to put on your first show. I’m blessed because I can still stand and sing and make people forget the world for a few minutes.

Are you touring with the show? I haven’t decided yet. I would like to play colleges rather than clubs because I want young people to be able to come and they can’t afford to.

Is cabaret experiencing a return? I think it’s coming back because there are a lot of special songs that people want to hear, things from the past. I think that television is great and theater is great, but cabaret is also great. I’d love it to come back.

svasilyuk@examiner.com


Check out more 3-minute interviews from our San Francisco newsroom.

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

SFMTA will install transit-only lane on Beale St this week

A two-way bike protected bike path and wider sidewalks to follow

Boy, 6, fatally shot on Fourth of July remembered for his smile, intelligence

A 6-year-old boy who was fatally struck by gunfire while watching fireworks… Continue reading

Effort to ‘undercut’ proposed ballot measure to split up Public Works fails

Voters would be asked to create a new Department of Sanitation and Streets

Mayor taps former Supervisor Malia Cohen to serve on Police Commission

Mayor London Breed on Monday nominated former Bayview neighborhood Supervisor Malia Cohen… Continue reading

AIDS Memorial Quilt displayed at SF City Hall

The 23rd International AIDS Conference kicked off Monday with a display of… Continue reading

Most Read