OFF BEAT

OFFBEAT: Felicia Fields one-woman show entertains while looking for an audience

Phil Potempa's daily entertainment news column
2013-02-16T00:00:00Z OFFBEAT: Felicia Fields one-woman show entertains while looking for an audienceBy Philip Potempa philip.potempa@nwi.com, (219) 852-4327 nwitimes.com

Entertainer Felicia Fields is one of my favorite interviews.

This is a lady who has been in "the biz" for some time and knows ins and outs.

So she's a natural for her own one-woman show.

She tested out her one-woman cabaret show at the Theatre at the Center stage in Munster on Valentine's Day.

Celebrating the most romantic night of the year, powerhouse songstress Fields called her all-new show "Mess Around & Fall in Love."

Filled with what she calls "sassy hits," like "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, she performed for more than 75-minutes before an audience of 200.

"I expect to have the audience singing and dancing in their seats for the entire 75-minute program," she said.

As a special treat, she added a special cameo guest, Joe Plummer, who is especially known for his work at Black Ensemble Theatre. His most memorable performance was playing Louis Armstrong during his time in Apple Tree's Production of "Jammin' with Pops," when he starred opposite Fields.

For his spotlight moment in Fields' one-woman show, he did Armstrong and seeing the duo together again became one of the highlights of the night.

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.

Her favorite artists are the big names of yesteryear, from Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald.

Fields, who hails from Blue Island, Ill., 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.

She said she was originally planning to do this one-woman show for New Year's Eve. But her contract at Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire for the run of "My One and Only."

While her singing it top-notch, Fields was faced with a very laid-back audience on Thursday and I think it snuffed out some of her usual fire.

A bit more storytelling from her career and audience interaction would also help move moments along.

I'm forward to her next solo return. I hope it's not to far into the future.

 

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at philip.potempa@nwi.com or (219) 852-4327.

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