She’s done films, recorded music, and solidified her place in television history with an iconic Emmy-nominated performance in “Roots,” but singer and actress Leslie Uggams has never strayed far from her home on the stage. And she’s set to return in the title role in Colman Domingo’s Dot in February.
In Domingo’s latest work, Uggams will play “Dotty,” a family matriarch who’s dealing with dementia and squabbling children during the holidays. This will mark her first extended run on a New York stage since she appeared in The First Breeze of Summer in 2008. Stephen Conrad Moore and Sharon Washington will also join Uggams in Dot.
Uggams grew up performing for audiences, getting her start in show business when she was seven years old playing Ethel Waters’ niece on the sitcom “Beulah.“ She then went on to perform on the “Lawrence Welk Show” and was a regular on “Sing Along with Mitch,” with record producer/conductor Mitch Miller.
She’s had a long and illustrious career on stage beginning with her 1967 Broadway debut in the musical Hallelujah, Baby! Her performance earned her the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical as well as a Theatre World Award. She’s also appeared on Broadway in the revue Blues in the Night in 1982 and in Jerry’s Girls, the musical revue of the works of Jerry Herman in 1985. Uggams replaced Patti LuPone as “Reno Sweeney” in the Lincoln Center revival of Cole Porter’s musical Anything Goes on Broadway in 1989. Her other roles have included “Muzzy” in Thoroughly Modern Millie and “Ethel Thayer” in On Golden Pond. In 2001, Uggams was nominated for a Tony Award for her role in August Wilson’s King Hedley II.
Dot, which has been called a “testament to the enduring bonds of family,” isn’t Domingo’s first foray into playwriting. The Tony-nominated actor also pennd a one-man autobiographical play A Boy and His Soul, for which he won a GLAAD Award: Outstanding New York Theater: Broadway & Off–Broadway. He also wrote and starred in Wild with Happy.
Susan Stroman, who won a Tony Award for The Producers, will direct Dot. The play premiered in the Humana Festival of New American Plays in Louisville, Ky., earlier this year.
Dot is scheduled to open on February 4, 2016 and run through April 3, 2016 at the Vineyard Theatre. For tickets and more information visit vineyardtheatre.org.