Addison — Cynthia Scott is so talented, even a blind man could see it…and did. In her solo performance One Raelette’s Journey, Scott tells the story of her life and professional music career, which got its first big boost when she was hired by Ray Charles himself to be a member of his famous back-up singers, the Raelettes.
That’s a far cry from tiny El Dorado, Ark., where Scott was born to a preacher and his wife. Like any child born to a deeply religious household, Scott was expected to stay away from the “devil’s music,” but the draw would prove too strong. Finding herself living in Dallas after high school, she soon got a job singing for some of the great local musicians, namely Claude Johnson. From there, she received the phone call to join Ray.
Though her actual time with Ray is brief in comparison to her entire life, its impact on who she became is significant and felt throughout the performance. All in all, Scott has had a glorious career singing for a who’s who of musicians and singers, and even serving as the U.S. Jazz Ambassador.
Even with all that experience, though, this is Scott’s first stab at writing and performing her own material. Not that she hasn’t had excellent training—she’s worked with Uta Hagen. Still though, the sense of a new journey is palpable and endearing. This is a piece she truly believes in and loves. It’s her chance to tell her story, and it’s a worthy story to tell. Plus, she performs several original songs.
Scott commands the stage like someone who has spent a lifetime on it. She oozes charisma and comfort, pulling the audience in and holding their attention. The whole room could have listened to her tell her stories and sing songs all night.
Go for the fun, insider stories from the music world. Listen to some juicy behind-the-scenes commentary on Ray Charles. But stay for the far more interesting story that is Scott’s own life. The daughter of a preacher, who refused to compromise her goals, and rose to the top of her profession. It’s the most delightful success story anyone’s likely to hear, with the added advantage of a great soundtrack.
» One Raelette's Journey repeats at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 15 in the Studio Theatre at Addison Theatre Centre
» WaterTower Theatre's 2014 Out of the Loop Fringe Festival is 10 days of live theater, dance, music and visual art. To see the full schedule, go here.