Thanks to her mother-in-law Rosemary Clooney, Grammy Award-winning singer Debby Boone has fond memories of being in the Valley.
“Probably the strongest memory for me was doing my mother-in-law Rosemary Clooney’s White Christmas tour,” Boone explains.
“She included me in that and we put my kids in that very first show in Phoenix. I never dreamt something like that could ever happen. It was a blast and we did it for many years.”
She will create additional memories this summer when she performs in 42nd Street, a production of Scottsdale Musical Theater Company at the Tempe Center for the Arts. She is co-starring with Charles Shaughnessy, who appeared in The Nanny and Days of Our Lives.
The daughter of Pat Boone, she will play the slightly past-her-prime Dorothy Brock, a diva who is annoyed about having to audition for a new stage production. As Brock, Boone continues to expand her theatrical repertoire, which includes Broadway stints with Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Grease, as well as The Sound of Music, South Pacific and Camelot.
“I’ve never actually seen the show (42nd Street) done live on stage, but I’ve seen the movie,” Boone says. “I’m very familiar with the music because so much of it is just standard popular music now.
“Before I said yes, I read the script and listened to the music and it’s different than anything I’ve ever done in my life. I’m up for new challenges and experiences at this phase of my career.”
The musical’s songs were a good fit for Boone’s natural range, which was showcased in her 1977 hit “You Light Up My Life.”
“In musical theater, usually the challenge for me is that everything is too high,” Boone says. “I am a true alto. There are not a lot of leading roles written for altos, but this role is. I think it would be challenging for most female singers to sing as low as the part requires.”
Boone is looking forward to this Valley opportunity.
“I love musical theater and I love working in a company,” she says. “There’s nothing quite like the energy of working with a full cast and an orchestra. I know Scottsdale Musical Theater Company is a delightful theater company and they put on great productions, so I’m really excited.”
42nd Street, Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, 602.909.4215, scottsdalemusicaltheater.com, various times Friday, July 6, to Sunday, July 15, $36-$58.