BWW Interviews: Leslie Uggams Talks about Her Upcoming Concert at Bucks County Playhouse
Leslie Uggams will be gracing the stage at Bucks County Playhouse with her concert, AN EVENING WITH LESLIE UGGAMS. Uggams is best known for her role Kizzy in the 1977 mini-series, ROOTS, as well as many stage roles including Georgina in HALLELUJAH, BABY! According to Bucks County Playhouse audiences can expect "a variety of her classic, signature songs in an evening audiences won't forget." I had a chance to speak with Uggams about her concert as well as some of her most memorable roles.
Kelli Curtin: Could you tell me about your concert, "An Evening with Leslie Uggams" at Bucks County Playhouse?
Leslie Uggams: The concert will be "classic Uggams." It shows my connections to people I have worked with such as Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Elvis, and the Beatles. This is a chance for me to talk about the people I have had a chance to work with and how they influenced me.
Kelli Curtin: Why do you think live theatre is important?
Leslie Uggams: People get a chance to see artists live and there is nothing better. It is not only a great experience for the artist, but also for the audience. There is nothing like seeing something live in an intimate setting. It is also important for people to support the arts. Music is important, it is a universal language and it is healing.
Kelli Curtin: Did you always want to perform on stage?
Leslie Uggams: I started out on television and also was on stage at the Apollo Theatre at a young age. When I was young I was a ham. Performing was something I loved to do. I was never pushed into performing, it was something I wanted to do.
Kelli Curtin: You have a very successful career on both stage and television. Which roles have been the most rewarding? The most challenging?
Leslie Uggams: ROOTS was rewarding, and it is a part of our history. It is constantly being seen in all parts of the world. Also, HALLELUJAH, BABY! For that musical, I had a chance to work with great people such as Jule Stein and Arthur Laurents.
I find every role I do challenging. I take nothing for granted and I immerse myself and become characters that are true to what the story is about.
Kelli Curtin: What has been your most memorable experience as an actor?
Kelli Curtin: Who influences you, both when you first started performing and now?
Leslie Uggams: I am always inspired by new people and I am constantly changing my style to incorporate new things. This does not mean I change who I am, but I want to try to include new styles to my concert. I do this and keep my integrity.
Kelli Curtin: What gives you the most fulfillment when performing?
Leslie Uggams: Feedback from the audience. My concert is like a musical biography and I enjoy the feedback from the audience. With this concert coming up I am excited to work at Bucks County Playhouse. I have never been there, and this theatre has so much history.
AN EVENING WITH LESLIE UGGAMS is at the Bucks County Playhouse on February 22, 2014. For more information and tickets visit their website at www.bcptheatre.org or call their box office at (215) 862-2121.
Photo courtesy of Bucks County Playhouse