Conference Call: Rebecca Luker and Sally Wilfert: "All The Girls" at Feinstein's/54 Below
What a remarkable time I had interviewing Broadway's Rebecca Luker & Sally Wilfert at Feinstein's/54 Below about their upcoming show All The Girls, which is part of the Duo Shows Series at 54 Below! Through laughter & insight, I left with a feeling of hope...hope that these two women are helping change the world, hope that they will aid us in forgetting our troubles with their incredible voices, and hope that everyone will have a night of enjoyment at their concert!
All The Girls explores the themes of today’s woman. With love, strength, and humor, these two beloved performers will draw inspiration from genres ranging from the American Songbook to Pop and beyond. Leading ladies, and also best friends, they are as comfortable with classical and folk/rock music as they are with Broadway showtunes.
All The Girls will play Feinstein's/54 Below on September 7 & 8 at 7pm (254 West 54th Street, between Broadway & 8th Avenue). Click here for tickets!
1. This September you are premiering your original show All The Girls, which explores the themes of today's woman. What can you tell us about this show?
Sally Wilfert: When Feinstein's/54 Below called me to see if I would be part of their Duo's series, I called my best pal Rebecca Luker because we love to sing together.
Rebecca Luker: It was a no brainer on my part to say yes.
Sally Wilfert: We didn't have to reach very far with what is happening in today's world, especially with woman. There's a lot of exploring to do with just the themes of today.
Rebecca Luker: We started working on this show a long time ago and we did so much research. We went through so many genres. We like singing in many different genres. So we finally decided, we have to do all this. I mean, we're not doing rap and we're not doing opera or country, but we are doing everything else.
Sally Wilfert: We are doing fresh arrangements & vocal arrangements, which we've been writing a lot of them ourselves.
Me: You gave us a great sneak peak with "Everybody Says Don't." I loved your take on it because hearing it from this angle of an empowered woman, is like, yes, many woman have always been told no, no, no and it's actually like, no, do, do do!
Together: That's awesome!
Rebecca Luker: David Loud arranged that for us. It's a lot of fun to sing.
2. What was the first song you both knew had to be in this show to tell this story?
Rebecca Luker: You know we didn't really know. We knew we might reprise something we did together years ago that Jeff Blumenkrantz wrote, we are reprising that because it's a hilarious take on women going into a bar & picking men up.
Sally Wilfert: Not only do we sing from estabilshed composers, but we also sing from new contemporary writers. We also did a new voices concert a few years ago and we sang this duet about being best friends, so we knew a few songs we had to do.
Rebecca Luker: And then filled in the blanks with a lot of songs you wouldn't expect from us.
3. As women of today, what are some issues each of you have faced that you are looking forward to sharing in this show?
Together: That's such a good question.
Rebecca Luker: I think all woman can relate to the duet we just did, "Everybody Says Don't" about climbing up any ladder of any career they happen to be in. Although Sally & I have been very lucky in our career. I personally feel like I've been told yes a lot. But, I've gotten a lot of no's too. It's been a struggle to get myself out of a stereotype.
Sally Wilfert: That's the first thing that came to my mind. As any human being, women or men, you grow, you change your perspective, your views, your risks, you become deeper in certain aspects of your life and there are many times people don't want to allow that to happen. They want to keep you in a certain category.
I think we, women and men, but especially women, I think women can not only celebrate other women, but they can also become judgmental of other women and I think that has to go. I think we have to celebrate whatever change somebody is making and say "Why not?"
Rebecca Luker: Most times men are allowed to make all sorts of choices...they can stay home with the kids or they can be the president of a company, women can too, but it's harder for women.
Sally Wilfert: And our show is not about bashing men, we LOVE men, but it's to show things have to change.
Unfortunately we had to wrap up our interview, but be sure to go see All The Girls for more empowering stories on September 7 & 8 at 7pm at Feinstein's/54 Below (254 West 54th Street). Click here fort tickets!
More on Rebecca:
Rebecca Luker's Broadway roles include "Helen" in FUN HOME. CINDERELLA'S Fairy Godmother, "Marie." "Winifred" in the original Broadway production of MARY POPPINS (Tony Award nomination), "Claudia Nardi" in NINE opposite Antonio Banderas, "Marian Paroo" in THE MUSIC MAN (Tony Award nomination, Drama Desk Award nomination & Outer Critics Circle Award nomination), "Maria" in THE SOUND OF MUSIC (Outer Critics Circle Award nomination); "Magnolia" in SHOWBOAT (Tony Award nomination), "Lily" in THE SECRET GARDEN (Drama Desk Nomination); "Christine" in THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. With the New York City Opera, Rebecca was featured in X (THE LIFE AND TIMES OF MALCOLM X) and was "Fiona" in BRIGADOON. Off-Broadway she starred in Maury Yeston’s DEATH TAKES A HOLIDAY – Outer Critics Circle nomination (Roundabout, 2011), the world premiere of A.R.Gurney’s INDIAN BLOOD (Primary Stages), CAN’T LET GO (Keen Company) and THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES.
Her television credits include the CBS Television movie Cupid and Cate, Elementary, NCIS: New Orleans, Law and Order-SVU, Boardwalk Empire, Matlock, An Evening with the Pops, An Oscar Hammerstein Celebration and A Tribute to Rodgers and Hart (PBS), The Kennedy Center Honors honoring Julie Andrews, and a Richard Rodgers celebration with the Boston Pops (PBS). Movies include The Rewrite with Hugh Grant, Not Fade Away, She is also featured in Toni Dove’s film, Spectropia.
Rebecca's recordings include, I Got Love (PS Classics), Greenwich Time (PS Classics), Leaving Home (PSClassics), Anything Goes: Rebecca Luker Sings Cole Porter (Fynsworth Alley), Aria, Aria 2 and Aria 3 (all on Koch), The Boys From Syracuse, Wonderful Town, Annie Get Your Gun, Broadway Showstoppers, Jerome Kern Treasury and Brigadoon.
Other recordings are Strike Up the Band, original cast recordings of The Sound of Music, The Secret Garden. Showboat & The Music Man, Placido Domingo: The Broadway I Love, Unsung Sondheim, Unsung Musicals II and Lost in Boston III and many more.
More on Sally:
Sally Wilfert has appeared on Broadway in the Tony Award winning production of Assassins, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and King David. She also toured the country in the first national tour of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Off-Broadway, Ms. Wilfert’s credits include See Rock City, Make Me A Song: The Music of William Finn, The Mistress Cycle and The Prince & The Pauper. At Carnegie Hall she has appeared in Cole Porter’s Jubilee, South Pacific in Concert (starring Reba McEntire), and Sondheim: A Tribute, (all for PBS). Performing with the New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center and Tokyo, she was featured soloist, singing Somewhere for their performances of West Side Story Suite. Wilfert has performed throughout the country, including shows at the La Jolla Playhouse, Cincinnati Playhouse, Baltimore Center Stage, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, New Haven’s Schubert Theatre, Barrington Stage, Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival, Goodspeed Musicals, Northshore Music Theatre, Cap 21, Hartford Theatreworks, The Maltz Jupiter Theatre, The Fulton Opera House, Connecticut Grand Opera, and The Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati in such roles as "Donna" in Mamma Mia!, "Ethel Gumm" in Chasing Rainbows, "Miss Mona" in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, "Meg" in Damn Yankees, "Kate" in Kiss Me Kate, "Margaret" in The Light in the Piazza, "Ethel" in Footloose, "Maggie" in When We Met (In Collaboration with Dan Collins, Julianne Wick Davis & Michael Winther), "Georgianne" in LMNOP (World Premiere), "Ms. Jenkins" in Little Miss Sunshine (World Premiere), "Woman" in Marry Me A Little, "Woman 1" in Elegies: A Song Cycle, "Madame Thernardier" in Les Miserables, "Cathy" in The Last Five Years, "Constanze" in Amadeus, "The Witch" in Into the Woods, "Polly Peachum" in The Threepenny Opera to name a few.
Sally has appeared in concert in major venues around the country. Credit include: Rob Kapilow’s What Makes it Great? (celebrating the songs of Arlen, Gershwin, Cole Porter, Sondheim and Bernstein) American Songbook: Rebecca Luker, Sally Wilfert: It’s Time, William Finn’s Songs of Innocence and Experience, Broadway in South Africa, Jeff Blumenkrantz Songbook, New York City Christmas in such venues as Bing Hall, Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, Scottsdale Arts, 54 Below, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Ottawa Chamber Festival, Mr. Finn’s Cabaret at Blatt Center for the Performing Arts, Dallas’ Horchow Center, The Jacob Javits Center, Le Chat Noir, The Allen Room, The Zipper Theatre, Merkin Hall, Symphony Space, Joe’s Pub, Los Angeles Staples Center, Birdland, and Williamstown’s 62 Center. Her recording credits include One Voice: Sally Wilfert & Natalie Weiss; Kiss Me While We Have The Chance, Sweet Little Devil, See Rock City, Kitty’s Kisses, New York City Christmas, Make Me A Song, Assassins, King David, The Prince & the Pauper, A Christmas Survival Guide. Her television credits include The Ameri-cans for Comedy Central, Loving for ABC and Law & Order Criminal Intent for NBC and the web series Submissions Only.