Michelle WilliamsMichelle Williams of Destiny's Child made her West End stage debut in the über -hit musical 'Chicago' at London's Cambridge Theatre on July 13.
As part of VisitBritain.com's Transatlanticism Campaign (www.transatlanticism.org), BV Buzz traveled to London to see the R&B star 'razzle dazzle 'em' as the first African-American woman to play femme fatale Roxie Hart on the West End.
"It feels awesome to be in a year of firsts! There's the first Black president and first lady in the US, here in the UK for the first time a young black woman got the crown of Miss UK, and here I am the first black woman to play Roxie Hart. I am honored! I know that I am blessed! God's been awesome and has shown great favor," she exclaimed.
In a bobbed wig and black lace dress, Williams is seductive in the starring role of the Kander and Ebb musical set in prohibition era Chicago.
'Chicago' marks the 29-year-old singer's third theater production, having starred on Broadway in the musical 'Aida' and having played Suge Avery in the touring cast of the Oprah Winfrey-produced musical 'The Color Purple.'
"The best part to me is that it's another form of artistic expression," acknowledged Williams. "It's my therapy! The cast and crew of 'Chicago' are amazing! Everyone's been very nice and welcomed me with open arms!"
Heart To Yours Michelle WilliamsIf 'Chicago's' self-defined tale of ''murder, greed, corruption, violence, exploitation, adultery and treachery'' isn't enough adult material for one stage production; imagine what happens when audience members decide to add their own antics to the show.
Williams saw firsthand how the musical impacts some eccentric patrons when a couple in the audience became "the show within the show."
"One of the cast members comes to me backstage and says, 'Michelle whatever you do, don't look in the front row,'" she explained. "Well my nosey behind decided to look when I returned back on stage for a scene and this woman had her leg draped over a man's leg. I mean she was partially spread eagle. And his hand was in the area of her, umm, sugar dish, if you know what I mean. It was disgusting, disrespectful and nasty. I mean, I know people gotta get it in. But couldn't they have sat in the back like people do at the movie theatre? You know how y'all used to do! Mmm hmm!"
Despite a few risqué theatergoers here and there, the Rockford, Illinois-bred vocalist said she loves playing Roxie Hart so much she'd be willing to extend her run in London past her Aug. 22 closing date.
"I love 'Chicago' and I love London very much. An extension is not confirmed at this time but I could stay here for a long time. I just need to a few people from the States to come and visit me every now and then," she laughed. "Hint Hint! The great thing about being here is that people really appreciate music. They don't take an artist for granted nor do we take their support for granted."
Williams, who won a NAACP Theatre Award for Lead Female Actress for her role in 'The Color Purple,' also wants a shot at playing Roxie on the Great White Way.
"I would absolutely love to do 'Chicago' on Broadway! That's definitely a wish that I'd love to see come true," she expressed.
For now, the Grammy winner intends to make the best of her time abroad.
"I've been to London for the past nine years of my career and can honestly say that I'm happy to be able to actually see London. I've traveled to many places and my days were consumed with interviews and performances all day. I never got the chance to see some of the beautiful places I've been. So now, I'm gonna do some sightseeing," she concluded.
Williams has also begun doing some promotional work for her new single 'Hello Heartbreak,' which is being serviced to UK radio stations in the coming weeks.
The dance track is featured on her latest CD, 'Unexpected,' which hit stores in the US last fall.
Read Also: Karu F. Daniels' 'VIDEO: Michelle Williams Sizzles As 'Chicago' Vixen Roxie Hart In London'
VIDEO: Watch Michelle Williams perform a medley of songs by Diana Ross, Chaka Khan, Whitney Houston & Destiny's Child during a club performance in London.