Submitted by Virginia Repertory Theatre
This week we get an inside look at how Desirée Roots has fallen in love with the role of Ella Fitzgerald. She is no stranger to singing Ella’s songs, and was the star of her own, self-penned tribute to Ella Fitzgerald in honor of the 100th anniversary of the legend’s birth. The multi-media production, Ella at 100, featured Desiree as Ella along with a 3-member cast and a 14-piece orchestra and was held at Virginia Rep’s November Theatre. The production has since sprouted wings and is being performed throughout Virginia. Desirée has renamed the show Forever Ella.
We caught up with Desirée in between rehearsals for Ella and Her Fella Frank, which opens July 9 at the November Theatre.
What is the best thing about playing ELLA in this new production?
The music!! Being able to live in this music is pure heaven.
Do you have any favorite songs that you sing in the show?
I absolutely LOVE “Mr. Paganini” although I’ve always shied away from it because Ella’s scatting in this song was impeccable.
I know the costumes will be amazing! Tell us about what you will be wearing.
All of my gowns have been designed by my MOST favorite designer, Keith Walker. He’s the only man, other than my husband, that knows every inch of my body and his designs make me feel regal and elegant always.
Can you describe some of your recent roles in Virginia Rep shows?
My most recent roles were that of Auntie Em/ Addaperle/ Evilene in the 2019 production of The Wiz. Talk about a challenge and crazy costume changes!!
Before that there was Effie White in the iconic Dreamgirls! That’s one role for the books.
What is your dream role that you’ve never gotten to play?
Fannie Brice in Funny Girl!!
What do you want our patrons to take away with them from this show?
I want them to take away the idea that this piece of work is all about them as well as Ella and Frank, because we could not make the music magic without them!!
Social distancing is in place for this show. Buy a set of two seats online, or if you’d like more than 2 seats together, please call 804-282-2620. Subscribe to the entire season of 6 shows and save up to 25%.
For groups of 10 or more, call Mark Persinger at 804-783-1688 Ext. 1118.