Entertainer Felicia Fields likes to kid that the reason she's bringing her one-woman cabaret show to the Theatre at the Center stage in Munster on Valentine's Day, is because she "couldn't get a date."
"I figure I might as well spend the evening with a bunch of nice people," Fields said, chatting with me by phone Tuesday.
"It's a relaxed and fun evening with the promise of a few surprises. I always say I don't know what I'm going to say next, and that's because usually I don't even know what I'm going to say next."
Celebrating the most romantic night of the year, powerhouse songstress Fields is performing her all-new show "Mess Around & Fall in Love" at 7:30 p.m. Valentine's Day (Thursday) at Theatre at the Center, 1040 Ridge Road.
Filled with what she calls "sassy hits," expect to hear "I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)," "Women Be Wise," "You Can Have My Husband But Don't Mess With My Man," and "I Got My Mojo Workin'," among others.
"I expect to have the audience singing and dancing in their seats for the entire 75-minute program," she said.
"There will be banter and audience interaction, with a mix of blues, jazz, gospel and standards."
Dinner theater packages are $50 per person and performance only tickets are $35.
A Tony Award-nominee for her role in "The Color Purple" on Broadway, she just finished performing in "My One and Only" at the Marriott Theatre, "Crowns" at the Goodman Theatre, "Hairspray" at Drury Lane Theatre, and "The Wiz" at Theatre at the Center.
She said some of her favorite songs she plans to do are from Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald.
"I like the space in Munster because the stage is intimate and yet there's still plenty of audience room," said Fields, who hails from Blue Island, Ill.
"Hopefully, husbands realize there's more to Valentine's Day than just roses and chocolates. This dinner show is something very different to remember."
She has also appeared in numerous productions at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Nightlight Theatre, and Apple Tree Theatre and received a Black Theatre Alliance Award, multiple Jeff Award nominations, a 2006 Theatre World Award, a Clarence Derwent Award, two Broadway.com awards and an NAACP nomination.
And there's sure to be plenty of show biz stories.
Though Fields never had a chance to see a performance of "The Wiz" on Broadway or during any national tour, when she performed in the mean witch role in 2011 in Munster, she said she still fondly remembers the film version from youth.
"I first saw 'The Wiz' when it was aired on television and to this day, my favorite performance has always been comedian Nipsey Russell playing Tin Man," she said.
"I know most people think of him from later years on TV game shows like 'Match Game' and Dick Clark's '$25,000 Pyramid,' but 'The Wiz' was his performance of a lifetime."
Founded in 1991, Theatre at the Center is a year-round professional theater at its home, The Center for Visual and Performing Arts, 1040 Ridge Road, Munster, Indiana. Theatre at the Center is located off I-80/94, just 35 minutes from downtown Chicago, and has free parking.
To purchase tickets call the Box Office at (219) 836-3255 or Tickets.com at (800) 511-1552.