It’s summer, theatres are reopening, and Solea Pfeiffer is coming back to The Old Globe on June 19th and 20th to kick off their cabaret series, what more do you need to kickstart a great theatre season? If you’ve had the chance to see her on stage, or even in video performances, her joy and energy shine through. So when I had the chance to interview Solea it was no surprise that when asked about the cabaret she said, “To be totally honest with you, this cabaret is just about joy.”
San Diego and The Old Globe last saw Solea when she was originating the role of Penny Lane in the musical ALMOST FAMOUS. That was part of a colossal run of iconic roles for Pfeiffer in a year where she also starred as the iconic leading lady in EVITA at New York City Center, was in THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA opposite of Renée Fleming, and originated another role in GUN & POWDER along with the talented Emmy Raver-Lampman. When quarantine brought everything to a halt Solea says it was an opportunity for her to reconnect to herself after portraying so many iconic people in a row.
“This past year was a lot of rest and after that long stretch of work, I’ve really learned that there has to be a balance. You cannot pour from an empty cup and I think the past year was a lot of filling that cup way up and now I’m feeling really driven and energized to get back to it. I feel better rested, balanced, and so much better to make choices.”
Solea created this weekend’s cabaret recharged from her lessons of living in the moment, and to celebrate coming back to the theatre, both for her onstage and for the audiences returning after so long.
“I think for many people coming this may be their first live thing in the theatre, and that feels like a huge honor. Even as things open up, and it feels a bit like defiance against the darkness to say ‘I am going to sit in a theatre, I’m excited!’
To be able to come back to The Old Globe where I had such an amazing time and where I originated my first role in that capacity, it feels like a homecoming of sorts and I get to do it over Juneteenth and Father’s Day!”
So what can audiences expect from her cabaret?
“I want this to be a night of love and light, and joy. People can expect to hear some of their favorite songs, as well as some songs from their favorite composers that they may have never heard. We’ve got some fun arrangements of songs from shows I’ve done, and I just hope people come, have a sweet evening, bring their Dads, family, and friends.“
Another piece of the cabaret that Solea is excited about is that the audience will get to hear the amazing talents of her Musical Director Macy Schmidt. Schmidt is an orchestrator/arranger, music director, and founder of The Broadway Sinfonietta, an all-female-identifying, majority women-of-color orchestral collective.
“Macy had never really done this, but I was lucky enough that she said ‘yes.’ I really wanted a woman of color, oftentimes you are the only person of color or the only woman of color in the room, and I wanted to start off my solo here with a badass woman of color by my side. I was lucky enough to get Macy to agree and I think that’s a really cool part of this show. It feels like a celebration of young women, people of color, and forging forward despite this past year.”
Solea is ready to have some fun as people return to the theatre.
“I’ve put together some songs I love, have a great band, put on a great dress, and we’ll have a really good time.”
What more could anyone possibly ask for?
Solea Pfeiffer is kicking off The Old Globe Concert series this weekend Saturday, June 19th, and Sunday, June 20th. Future concerts include BRIGHT STAR’s Carmen Cusack from June 25th-27th, and WICKED’s Eden Espinosa from July 9th – 11th.
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