It has been 20 years since Broadway powerhouse Lillias White won a Tony Award for her performance as the seen-it-all hooker Sonja in The Life and now here she is in London, frontlining with inimitable style a Fats Waller musical revue downstairs at The Other Palace called This Joint is Jumpin’ and—coincidentally—stopping by to see the U.K. debut of The Life at Southwark Playhouse. Broadway.com spoke to the effervescent White both about revisiting her past and her ever-exciting present.
How did you come to be making your London stage debut in This Joint is Jumpin’?
[The producer] Hoagy B. Carmichael is a dear friend of mine and he asked me if I would come and be a part of it with a group of musicians, Michael Mwenso and The Shakes. He invited me to come and listen to the group and said that if I liked their sound, he would love for me to join them.
Was the decision a no-brainer?
I was excited because Hoagy is my friend, and I would do just about anything for him. Also, I’ve never played London before, so I thought this would be a great way to come over for several weeks. I’ve been overjoyed …