Multi-talented Vanessa Williams returns to Scottsdale

Vanessa Williams will be accompanied by pianist/commentator Seth Rudetsky at 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 7 at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts Virginia G. Piper Theater. (Special to the Independent)

Award-winning actress and songstress Vanessa Williams brings her talents to perform songs from musicals, with an interview and commentary, for the series “Mark Cortale’s Broadway @ Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.”

The multi-faceted star of Broadway, film, music videos and television will be accompanied by acclaimed pianist/commentator Seth Rudetsky at 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 7 at the center’s Virginia G. Piper Theater, according to a press release.

Ms. Williams, who performed at the Center in 2015, has sold more than four million albums worldwide, the release noted. Her acting skills have earned widespread critical praise, including a Golden Globe, a Grammy and an Oscar for “Best Original Song” for her platinum single, “Colors of the Wind” from the Disney film Pocahontas.

In 1994, she conquered Broadway in “Kiss of the Spider Woman” and was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance as the witch in the revival of Into the Woods. In 2013, she starred as Jessie Mae Watts in the Tony-nominated play, “The Trip to Bountiful.” She was also nominated for an Emmy for her role as diva Wilhelmina Slater on ABC’s Ugly Betty, the release said.

She authored her 2012 memoir, “You Have No Idea,” written with her mother, Helen, where she explores the ups and downs of fame, Hollywood, love and loss. She even branched out into clothing design with her V. by Vanessa Williams line on Evine, the release added.

A strong advocate for equal rights, especially concerning the gay community and minorities, Ms. Williams was honored in 2008 with the Human Rights Campaign Ally for Equality Award for her humanitarian contributions.

Also noteworthy, Mr. Rudetsky and his husband, James Wesley, co-produced a recording of “What The World Needs Now” with Idina Menzel, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Carole King and Audra McDonald in June of 2016. The song went to No. 1 on iTunes, raising more than $100,000 to benefit the Orlando nightclub shooting victims.  On Inauguration Day 2017, the couple started Concert For America to benefit five national civil rights protection organizations.

Tickets are: $89 (M $81) / $69 / $59. For more information call 480-499-8587 or visit

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