DJ Ron Slomowicz: How are the rehearsals going?
Deborah Cox: Well, I'm done with rehearsals, I had my first night last night.
RS: Oh, wow, how did that go?
Deborah: Oh, it was amazing. The energy from the people, the warmth of the audience was great and it really was a really, really good show. Like, all of us, myself and the ensemble, the whole cast were all just fired up and it was a really, really great night.
RS: How is this show different then like your regular performances?
Deborah: The theatre is a lot more different just because of the pace that you have to set with the show, the show's two hours. From beginning to end it's about keeping the energy and the intensity of the story and not doing too much and not doing too little, but just enough so people stay interested and stay involved in the characters. The club shows are really intense and powerful, but for a shorter time, and the audiences are in close proximity than when I'm performing at The Palace Theatre. It's really a grand old, legendary theatre where the spirits of like Judy Garland and all these great performers have been. The clubs are way more underground.
RS: Some of your songs you refer to acting like "Play your Part" and "Same Script, Different Cast." Have you always dreamed of performing on Broadway?
Deborah: Oh, yes! I always thought that it was every performer's dream. That's the epitome of being an artist, being able to express song, dance and acting in a live theatre setting and really connecting with an audience on that level. Where every moment is about truth and I think it's a great challenge every night.That's what really drove me to wanting to do theatre, and it's great.
RS: What's your favorite song to sing in the show?
Deborah: I have two favorite songs. My first is called "Dance of The Robe" and it's a very powerful number where she is feeling the pressure from her people to take on the responsibility of leading them. It's a very emotional one because whenever I'm getting ready to perform the song I just connect with the moments that I went to Uganda and Mozambique and South Africa. I really connect with those moments of doing missionary work down there and just seeing the people that are dying from disease and hunger and malnutrition. It really just puts me right in that moment ofthe struggle that these people have been through, and I think the story of Aida represents a lot. This song "Dance of The Robe" is a ritual that they do to give this princess the strength to take on the responsibility. The second song is called "Easy As Life," which really describes the complete conflict of the whole story, her struggle of being in love with the enemy and also being in love with her people. Both songs are really, really intense when it comes to performing them, and very draining at the same time.
RS: It sounds like you really relate to the struggles of your character.
Deborah: Oh, yes, in a very personal way and everything that I do I try to take on a very personal approach. I never take on anything that is just for the money or just for, you know. I always have to connect with it in a very personal way because I believe the audience will sense whether I'm into it or not, so I don't take on projects that I'm not really passionate about.
RS: So, this is a funny question, which title do you prefer - Princess or Diva?
Deborah: I prefer Princess. I would love to be known as a diva later on in life when I've had far more experiences. To me a diva is someone who is completely knowing of her craft and of her ability and in some ways I do know my ability as an artist but I don't know it in the sense that Tina Turner, Dina Ross, Eartha Kitt, or Patti LaBelle do. These women are true divas, who have had years and years of experience in this business. I can't relate to that just yet.
RS: Are there any other Broadway parts that you'd like to tackle?
Deborah: I wanted to do Dreamgirls. If they're doing a stage production of Sparkle, I think that would be hot.
RS: If you could be part of any Disney movie turned into a Broadway musical, which movie would it be and what character would you play?
Deborah: Oh, wow.
RS: We can come back to that if you want.
Deborah: Yes. Let me think about that