Coming off six days of performing in the backup girl group in Mount Baker Repertory Theatre’s production of “Little Shop of Horrors” (with only 10 days of rehearsal), Sehome High School graduate Akilah Williams, 34, jumps into Bellingham Music Club’s Night Beat’s production of “A Broadway Cabaret” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2, at Firehouse Performing Arts Center in Fairhaven.
The upbeat, nightclub-style revue features popular Broadway and stage songs from the last century, from Gilbert and Sullivan to “Wicked.”
Williams is one of the four lead performers who performed in last season’s “Musical Birthday Bash Revue” at Bellingham Theatre Guild. You can find out what she up to by following her on twitter - @akilahwilliams.
Here’s more about why she likes to perform.
I went on to Boston and remember doing a very sexy choreo-poem by Ntozake Shang called “Hydraulics Phat Like Mean” — that was a trip. I went to Juneau, Alaska, for a production of “The Who’s Tommy,” where I played a variety of characters, and also in Juneau I played a yeast (yes, a yeast) in the world premiere of “Yeast Nation” (by the writers of the Tony-award-winning “Urinetown.”)
I created and produced my own solo cabaret, that I performed here in Bellingham on a visit, and in New York City. In my last summer in New York I even assistant-directed a new musical in the New York Fringe.
This summer I got to play opposite my extremely talented husband, Christopher Cariker, in “Much Ado About Nothing” for Shakespeare Northwest — that most definitely stretched me as a performer!
I just did my first “48 Hour Theater Festival” at the iDiOM, which was a wonderful exercise as an actor, to see what we can accomplish in so short amount of time. It’s been super-fulfilling to make all this great theater and still get to see my family more than once a year. (Chris and I even went camping this summer!)
Partly, it’s what I know best, and I’m actually pretty OK at it. Mostly, though, I think it’s the fact that I can always learn something new while doing theater. Something new about myself, or the world, or someone else’s point of view. It keeps me growing, which keeps me young. Plus, I really like having permission to be silly sometimes.
I’ve really been enjoying working with this group for the cabaret. They are a really talented bunch; fantastic singers. And Scott Henderson is doing an amazing job with the direction — some of the arrangements he’s put together will stop you in your tracks!
A: I have a couple of part-time office jobs that keep me going. A few days a week I work at Packo Private Wealth Management in Fairhaven. And I do some office-coordinating at the Whatcom Symphony. Both of my jobs have been super-supportive of me as a performer and I feel incredibly lucky to have them.