Celebrating Streisand! A Conversation With Singer-Songwriter Ann Hampton Calloway As She Prepares To Bring THE STREISAND SONGBOOK To The McCallum Theatre 2/26
DG: Out of your many, many accomplishments, what would you consider to be one of your proudest or greatest moments?
AHC: Well, I guess having Streisand sing my songs has been one of my greatest thrills. These are ... she sings the writing of the finest writers of our time, so to be included in the list of those people is a tremendous honor. You know, when I started thinking about the fact that she wanted me to write the words to the melody that she fell in love with that ended up being her wedding song - she could have approached The Bergmans, she could have approached any number of people, and I'm deeply honored that she put her faith in me. It doesn't get much better than that.
DG: On the converse, what's something that you haven't yet accomplished that you one day hope to accomplish?
AHC: I haven't done a book role in a Broadway musical. And I think that would be a great challenge and a wonderful thrill and I think that the actress that has layed dormant in me for many years needs to come out and do her stuff. To play "Mama Rose" in Gypsy - I mean, that's a little more than I'd want to bite off in my first time out in a book show, but I do feel it would be a great challenge that I want to do. I also want to write a Broadway musical. I think that as a songwriter I would really like to write something special for the theatre. I think I have sort of an old fashioned melodic sense that might be resonant and yet I bring some new ideas lyrically. I think it would be a wonderful challenge and I could offer something worthwhile.
DG: What's in the pipeline for you next?
AHC: Well, we're releasing my live CD called The Sarah Vaughan Project this year - we have a few labels fighting over it - and I'm very excited about getting that CD out and touring that show. You know, it's very interesting as a singer to - I'm calling it my Legacy Series - to pay tribute to singers like Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee ... umm, who else ... I've done a show called Diva Power where I've paid tributes to all the many singers I love --- and now Barbra Streisand - and Sarah Vaughan is the latest show I've put together. I love -- I think because I'm the daughter of a journalist -- I love painting a portrait of somebody, It's combining my parents talents and unifying them in me, to express who I am by telling the story of an artist who has inspired me. I'm looking forward to touring that show around the world.
DG: SO, my final "traditional question" ... when all is said and done, how do you want to be remembered?
AHC: Umm ... (long pause) ... I would like to be remembered as an inspiring artist and human being who made a difference with her life.
And that she will. Ann Hampton Calloway performs The Streisand Songbook at The McCallum Theatre on February 26 at 8:00 pm. For tickets or further information, visit www.mccallumtheatre.com