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Terri White Says Farewell To The Live Concert Stage

Having performed in musicals since she was 8, Tony-nominated actor Terri White takes a bow from the live concert stage. White, 68, announced her farewell when she opened the ninth season of Barbara Cook’s Spotlight Series at the Kennedy Center on Oct 11.

According to her official Facebook page, her decision was due to “some vision problems and solo concerts are becoming more difficult to do when you are on the stage for more than an hour alone.” She noted that “retirement is from concert work and has nothing to do with stage productions, which are always group efforts.”

Recent White concerts include: Feinstein’s/54 Below; The Crest Theatre (Delray Beach, Fla.); Lyrics & Lyricist Johnny Burke at 92nd St. Y; Joe’s Pub with Guy Davis; Jamie DeRoy and Friends at Birdland; Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall; Broadway Concert Series at John W. Engeman Theatre; Life is Good at Feinstein’s; and Terri in Paradise at Waterfront Theatre in Key West, and San Carlos Theatre in Key West.

Having performed with Liza Minnellii, White earned a Cabaret Award for “Best One-Show Special Event” for a July 2013 performance. Just five years earlier, White was evicted from her apartment. She couldn’t work, couldn’t make rent and couldn’t patch up a breakup with a longtime girlfriend. Rather than ask for help, she slept in Washington Square Park when she didn’t spend nights on a friend’s couch. With a help of a police officer, she was able to live rent-free in a basement apartment. A year later she landed a role in Broadway’s Finian’s Rainbow, which garnered her nominations for Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards. A New York Times article poignantly details how she found home, love and her soul.

Enjoying a decades-long career, White appeared as the original “Joice Heth” in Barnum, was Nell Carter’s understudy in 1978’s Ain’t Misbehavin, later replacing Carter in the 1988 revival. Other shows included: Welcome to the Club, The Club (Obie Award); Nunsense I & II and Nuncrackers. She took on “Mama Morton” in the long-running Broadway revival of Chicago in April 2010 and appeared in the Kennedy Center production of the Stephen Sondheim-James Goldman musical Follies as “Stella Deems” from May to June 2011. Her credits also include: Showboat; Bubbling Brown Sugar; The Jungle Book; Two Gentlemen of Verona; and Little Shop of Horrors.

Here is a look at some of her performances:

“Thank God I’m Old” from Barnum with the Fred Barton Orchestra in “American Showstoppers: Cy Coleman” at NYC’s Michael Schimmel Center – October 18, 2014

“You’ll Never Walk Alone” at AIDS Walk Opening Ceremony in Los Angeles – October 13, 2013

“Here’s to Life” at Sterling’s Upstairs at The Federal in North Hollywood, CA – September 15, 2013

“Just A Couple of Sisters” with Rue McClanahan in Nunsense

At Theater Marl in Germany – November 9, 2012

“Necessity” from Finian’s Rainbow at St. James Theater – 2009

We look forward to seeing Terri White onstage  again soon in collaborative productions and appreciate all that she’s accomplished so far.

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