Actress Molly Ringwald drew fans with her classic character portrayals in iconic '80s John Hughes' film hits "Sixteen Candles," "The Breakfast Club," and "Pretty in Pink."
What most people may not have realized at the time was that Ringwald was also a singer who honed her craft as a child performing with her father Bob Ringwald's jazz band.
The actress said she's long been drawn to music and is a fan of jazz standards and the Great American Songbook. Ringwald will entertain fans with her own take on the classics and tunes from her album "Except Sometimes" when she performs at Chicago's City Winery March 19.
"I love to introduce people to the music I grew up with and that I love. I really do think The Great American Songbook is one of our national treasures," said Ringwald, during a recent phone interview from her California home.
It's something, she believes, many people still aren't too familiar with now.
"Very often people come to hear me sing because they are fans of my film work and they get introduced to this music."
Performing in intimate clubs, the actress said, is ideal. And coming back to Chicago is always a nice thing.
"I always look forward to coming to Chicago. I have really good memories and associations in Chicago. It's a great city," Ringwald said.
What Ringwald most enjoys about interpreting the tunes from The Great American Songbook is the songs are extremely well-written and deal with universal subjects, namely love.
"There's just a very subtle art to them, they're clever , they're witty. And I don't want to sound like an old-timer but they really don't write songs like they used to," Ringwald said. "They really are kind of my musical comfort food."
Ringwald said while she currently prefers to concentrate on the standards when performing, her choices when it comes to listening to music are varied.
"I like all different kinds of music. I like alternative and I like Andrew Bird. "I love how adventurous he is with instruments," she said, about Chicagoan Bird. Yo Yo Ma, opera, Chopin and other styles are also favorites.
Ringwald, who also writes books and continues to act, said she, at one point, thought her ideas for performing in concert would just be a fun, side thing to do. But, singing is something she's happy to be juggling along with plans for another book, upcoming acting projects and being a mom to three children.
"I just really love to sing. I have a really good time and I feel if I have a good time, other people will have a good time."
FYI: Molly Ringwald and her Quintet will perform at 8 p.m. March 19 at City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph St., Chicago. Tickets are $55, $45 and $40. Visit citywinery.com.