Debby Boone is starring in “Into the Woods” this Spring at The Candlelight Dinner Playhouse
Interviewed by Tom Jones, April 28, 2016
Debby Boone found fame as a young singer in 1977 with “You Light Up My Life.” The song spent ten weeks as No.1 on Billboard charts that year, and she received the Grammy Award for Best New Artist the following year. While she hasn’t been in such great limelight in past years, she has continued to “light up lives” wherever she goes. She is an accomplished performer, writer, wife, mother, and even a grandmother. Her first granddaughter is not yet a year old, and a sibling is expected in the next few months. While in Colorado, she is staying part of the time with her younger sister, Laury, in Fort Collins.
Boone is in Colorado for a few weeks this spring, headlining the cast of “Into the Woods” at the Candlelight Dinner Playhouse in Johnstown. My wife and I were able to sit down with her at the theatre this afternoon, following several hours of rehearsals. And yes, she does “light up” the area wherever she goes. She has no pretense, and showed no signs of weariness after several hours of rehearsal. She visited with us about her life’s highs and lows, and how challenges have only served to fortify her!
She was born into a musical family. Her father, Pat Boone, continues to perform. She is obviously very proud of her father and reported that he is good health. We saw him two weeks ago in the movie, “God is Not Dead-2,” and Debby noted she had not yet seen the film.
She was born in New Jersey, but grew up primarily in California, graduating from a Catholic girls’ school. She was surrounded by show business families. Perry Como was her god-father. She married Gabriel Ferrer, son of famed actor Jose Ferrer and equally famous singer, Rosemary Clooney. She and Gabriel have four children, three daughters and one son. They all live in Southern California, and have kept close family ties. “We try to get together frequently for Sunday lunch,” she notes. She remarks that her greatest challenges and greatest satisfactions have revolved around her family
She speaks with respect of her famous family, noting that she and her mother-in-law Rosemary Clooney got along very well. “I was always a little shy with my father-in-law, Jose Ferrer, however, as he was so well known and so very intelligent.” Her husband, Gabriel is a priest in the Episcopal Church, and is cousin of actor George Clooney. She and her husband collaborated on several children’s books, which were all illustrated by her husband.
Subsequent to her amazing entrance into show business nobility with “You Light Up My Life,” Boone has been very successful as a television performer, and musical favorite with pop, country and Christian music. She has extensive experience starring in Broadway musicals across the country; headlining casts in “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” “The Sound of Music,” “South Pacific,” “Meet Me in St. Louis,” “Grease,” “Camelot,” and “The King and I.”
“Which was your favorite?” No hesitation: Anna in the “The King and I.”
At Candlelight she is playing the lead role of the witch in “Into the Woods.” This is the first time she has played this role, and noted that she was fitted for a prosthetic nose and chin just today – items which must be whipped off quickly when the witch is transformed into a beautiful woman. The transformation should not be difficult, as Debby has a natural beauty. It is creating make-up for her to look like an evil witch which may take some doing.
She commented on the delightful challenge she has in stepping “Into the Woods,” noting that composer Stephen Sondheim’s lyrics are so terrific that she feels she must work hard to accurately portray the part. Debby Boone is a great talent on her own, and will shine at the Candlelight, continuing to “light up” everything she touches.
Debby will be singing Sondheim’s great lyrics at Candlelight from May 19 to June 5. When she leaves the show in early June the role of the witch will be played by Beth Beyer.
“Into the Woods”
Where: Candlelight Dinner Playhouse
4747 Marketplace Drive, Johnstown
To: May 19-July 10 (Debby Boone stars May 19 to June 5, with Beth Beyer from June 6 to July 10)
For Tickets: Box Office: 970/744-3747