'The Trip to Bountiful': Vanessa Williams 'had to be there' for Cicely Tyson

cicely-tyson-vanessa-williams-trip-to-bountiful-lifetime.jpgZap2it: What are you working on?

Vanessa Williams: We did "[The Trip to] Bountiful" until October and the [Lifetime] movie in November. In December, I did a concert in Atlantic City and Hawaii, and in February, I am going to jump into "After Midnight." I will be in it from April 1 to May 11.

Zap2it: Will you be singing the same ballads Fantasia did, or will they change the score?

Vanessa Williams: Everyone does the same things, [such as] "Stormy Weather."

Zap2it: Are you going to do "The Trip to Bountiful" when it opens in Los Angeles?

Vanessa Williams: I start rehearsals in August, and it opens in mid-September and runs through the second week of November. It was one of those things as soon as I heard that Cicely [Tyson] had agreed to do it in L.A., I was definitely there for her. Not only that, I did not want to give up my role, but I loved it so much. It was one of those magical combos, and I hope they can get as many of our original Broadway cast. I don't know if Cuba [Gooding] signed on. I don't know if Blair [Underwood] signed on.


Zap2it: Were you a fan of playwright Horton Foote before this?

Vanessa Williams: I had seen "Tender Mercies" and the "Trip to Bountiful" movie, but I had never seen it onstage. You hear the stories and listen to his voice every night. I have seen documentaries and footage. And when we started our rehearsals, I saw a great piece of footage, and I feel very connected to him and would love to do more.

"The Trip to Bountiful" airs Saturday, Mar. 6 on Lifetime.
Photo/Video credit: Getty Images