Here’s Kevin Scott Hall's article on Terri White.
by Kevin Scott Hall ~ EDGE Contributor ~ Thursday Dec 4, 2008
Terri White, long a fixture on local and regional stages who perhaps solidified her iconic status by singing in New York’s best-known piano bars, has announced plans to move to Key West by the end of the year.
She will bring her legend to The Keys, a new piano bar on Duval Street that opened its doors in October. White has done a few guest stints in recent weeks, and The Keys manager Patrick Shank told EDGE in a recent interview she has already developed a loyal following among locals and visitors alike.
"She has never sounded better, never looked better, and she is so appreciated," he said. "There’s an appreciation down here for what is kind of going away up there [in New York.]"
Born and raised in California, White moved to New York in the early 1970s. Her primary talent at the time was as a dancer. And she eventually appeared "Bubbling Brown Sugar," "Two Gentleman of Verona," "Ain’t Misbehavin’," and other Broadway shows. The Tony-nominated "Barnum" alongside Glenn Close and Jim Dale is the most notable of these roles.
White also won an Obie for the off-Broadway show "The Club," directed by Tommy Tune. She went on to direct the show herself in theaters around the country. White also appeared in the off-Broadway productions of "Nunsense" and "Nunsense II." Both of these became television specials co-starring Rue McClanahan.
White appeared with Liza Minnelli in her famous "Live from Radio City Music Hall" show in the early ’90s, which was later recorded for a CD and DVD. Minnelli quipped "Pity you can’t sing, Terri," after one of White’s solo numbers. They have remained friends and White appeared on stage to perform a solo during Minnelli’s engagement last year at the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas.
She became a featured performer at the classic piano bar 88s on West 10th Street in the 90s. White went on to direct Rick Crom’s award-winning "Our Life and Times Revue" as she collected MAC and Bistro awards.
She eventually became a weekend staple at the now closed Rose’s Turn in the West Village. White always wore her trademark black cowboy hat and when she wasn’t there, other performers at the bar had to get used to hearing, "When does Terri White sing?"
She continued to perform concerts and in local theater productions, including a revival of "Finian’s Rainbow" at the Irish Repertory Theatre. Ben Brantley of "The New York Times" hailed her performance, saying she "turns the soulful, sassy ’Necessity’ into what would register as a show-stopper even in Madison Square Garden."
While at Rose’s Turn, she released her first solo CD, "The Lady’s Got to Sing," in 2000. It consisted of standards and the title song, which she co-wrote with musical director Bobby Peaco. Tourists and regular fans who came into the bar soon snatched up thousands of copies.
White most recently worked at the Stonewall Bar’s new upstairs room. She also performed at Iridium Jazz Club in October alongside a trio led by pianist Charles Lindberg.
"Although Terri White might be moving to Key West, part of her will always be felt in New York," Lindberg, who has known White since 1980, said.
White announced through a mass email she hopes to have a farewell party in New York soon. She is next scheduled at The Keys on Dec. 17. And Shank was quick to assure EDGE her new gig is "a new beginning for her."