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CrazyFruits » Entertainment Movies Trailors & More Interesting Things » Wendy Williams on Her Broadway Debut in 'Chicago'

Wendy Williams on Her Broadway Debut in 'Chicago'

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after8mint

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Wendy Williams
Photo Credit: Getty ImagesFor seven weeks this summer, TV personality Wendy Williams will step into the spotlight and play Matron Mama Morton in Broadway's Chicago. But before she kicks it into high gear, the former radio host and powerful media player according to The Hollywood Reporter, will host the 2013 Broadway.com Audience Choice Awards this Sunday.

ESSENCE.com caught up with Williams to chat about all things Broadwayófrom her upcoming debut and rehearsing to hosting this week's fan-driven annual audience awards ceremony in New York City.
ESSENCE.com: Youíre hosting Broadway.comís Audience Choice Awards this Sunday and itís all based on fan votes. So, which shows are your favorite shows on Broadway right now?
WENDY WILLIAMS: I havenít been in some time. Iíve been very busy with the show, to be honest. I would love to see Kinky Boots which I plan on going to see at some point this month with my parents. I also want to see Motown. I heard that was really good. But again I havenít had a chance to really do much of anything because the grind of doing a daily show also maintaining my home life and preparing to do the talk show while being in Chicago has been all consuming.

ESSENCE.com: Is there any element about Sundayís ceremony that youíre most looking forward to?
WILLIAMS: I love award shows where there are tables. Iíve never been to one, but I watch on TVóthe Golden Globesóit just looks like everyoneís having a good time eating, drinking, having casual conversations at tables with friends, while going up to accept awards. I love that. So, Iím really excited to razzle dazzle the crowd with entertaining and hosting duties and sitting at the table with my glam squad, who I also adore.

ESSENCE.com: This is your warm welcome to the Broadway community because youíre going on to play Matron Mama Morton in Chicago in a couple weeks.
WILLIAMS: Yes, I was asked to take the role of Matron Mama Morton and of course when you get asked to do something by Broadway you do not say Ďnoí because this is a dream that many people donít even get the chance to realize. So Iím very excited to play that role for seven weeks, eight shows a week, six days a week. I can do it!

ESSENCE.com: How are you preparing?
WILLIAMS: I start vocal lessons in two weeks and then we start rehearsals in three weeks. To prepare for the vocal lessons itís not really about teaching me how to sing on key and things like that, I am the one who wanted to take vocal lessons. Itís something I wanted to do because I need to know how to change my voice. Even though my voice has been my money-maker my whole career from radio and now to TV, talking in regular tones for an hour on a talk show is easy. And talking in regular tones for four hours on the radio was easy. But I donít want to test it by screaming on Broadway, where you have to talk a little bit louder. Then of course the singing numberóI want to give it my all and that will mean perhaps blowing a vocal cord so I want to know how to pace myself to make sure that my voice is optimum.

ESSENCE.com: Youíre taking on a role that Queen Latifah played very well. Have you reached out to her to get advice?
WILLIAMS: No, because itís not playing her. One of the things I was told by the casting director is ĎWendy, do not study how other people have played this role, this is a role that was originated by a heavier set White woman. So this role has no color and itís not about being a vocal genius. This role is about being fast and it was designed so that it could have interchangeable guest stars.í I said, ĎOh my gosh, thatís brilliant.í So Iíve taken their advice, Iíve seen the movie Chicago once and I havenít Googled facts or anything to see how anyone else has done it. But I do know that for instance when Queen Latifah played it in the movie, I was told she had on the 1920s and Ď30s tail matron dress. It was dark and matronly. When Sofia Vergara played it I know Sofia wore a tuxedo type outfit. Something more form fitting because she played it more sexy so they said the role changes every time depending on who the actress is.

ESSENCE.com: Youíre going to be doing eight Chicago shows a week. And your talk show has been picked up for a summer season too. How are you going to balance everything?
WILLIAMS: The talk show goes until the last working day in July and Chicago ends on August 11, so theyíll be two weeks while Iím on Broadway where I wonít be doing the talk show. But the other five weeks Iíll be doing both. I will make it work. Iíve got cooperation with all the people around me, thank Godófrom my parents to my son, my husband and my staff. Every last intern, my producers, everybody understands that this is a great opportunity; Iím going to be doing it. But Iím also going to be counting on everybody to step up to the plate and do their part and I promise that I will step up to the plate and continue to do my part. I donít want the production of my talk show or the production of Chicago to suffer because Iím choosing to have two jobs.

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